Rams roll to homecoming victory over Wildcats

STRASBURG – Strasburg bounced back in a big way against visiting Warren County in Bull Run District action Friday night.

Reeling from three straight losses, the Rams were sharp in all phases against the Wildcats as they rolled to a 38-0 homecoming victory. Strasburg rushed for 212 yards, scored a defensive touchdown, recorded a safety, blocked a punt and recovered a fumble on a kickoff in the win.

“I think the biggest thing was come out here, make a statement and get back to the way we can play,” Rams senior running back/linebacker Justin Carr said. “… This one I think we needed it more to prove to ourselves that we can play like we have played.”

Strasburg’s (4-3, 1-2 Bull Run) defense was stout in the victory, as Warren County (2-5, 1-3) mustered only 68 yards of total offense, including minus-13 yards rushing on 20 carries, and had only two first downs.

The Rams also sacked Warren County quarterback Robert Rutherford five times in the first half, including two each from sophomore Austin Miller and junior Josh Pritchett.

“We had the pep rally, I guess that got me really hyped today during school,” Miller said. “Then went out there and just left everything I had out there on the field.”

The Rams, who hadn’t scored a touchdown in eight quarters entering Friday’s game, broke that trend quickly with a 49-yard scoring drive on its opening possession following a fourth-down stop on defense near midfield.

Carr carried four times on the five-play drive, capping the march with an 8-yard touchdown run to put the Rams up 8-0.

“That was so relieving,” said Carr, who finished with 18 carries for 156 yards and three total touchdowns. “We’ve just been busting our humps in offensive days in practice and just no results on the game against Clarke (County last week). To come out here and just be able to spark something like that, it felt really good and I think our offensive linemen needed that a lot.”

The Rams squandered back-to-back drives into Warren County territory before the defense and special teams unit gave Strasburg a spark. Miller sacked Rutherford (6-for-12, 48 yards) at the Wildcats’ 1-yard line on a second-down play for Warren County, and the Wildcats’ punt from their own 15 two plays later was partially blocked by Rams junior Ethan Duckworth and covered up at the 18.

On fourth down, Strasburg converted with a 14-yard screen pass from quarterback Adam Miller to Carr, who had a wide-open field in front of him and used a downfield block by wide receiver Tyrik “Papoose” Steed to reach the end zone and put Strasburg up 16-0.

“I caught the ball, turned and went to read my blocks and then I realized I don’t have to read any blocks. So I was like, ‘Get on your horse,'” Carr said.

The Rams added another score right before halftime with a 78-yard drive that lasted just over a minute. After first-down scrambles of 9 and 14 yards by Adam Miller put the Rams in Warren County territory, Strasburg converted a fourth-and-goal from the 10 with a trick play. Wide receiver Trevin Howard took a toss in the backfield and hit Adam Miller with a pass. Miller, attempting to stretch the ball across the goal line, lost the football near the 1 before Strasburg senior Austin Schlentner fell on it in the end zone to give Strasburg a 23-0 lead with 0.7 seconds left on the clock.

“We were just trying to get it in the end zone and we were too far out to kick a field goal,” Rams coach Mark Roller said. “We just tried a little razzle dazzle there. … We were just trying to get some more points on the board at the end right there and it was just a lucky bounce for us.”

Warren County, which had just 18 yards in the first half, saw its best drive of the night stall after reaching the Strasburg 22 following a holding penalty and back-to-back sacks by Pritchett on the possession before Strasburg’s third touchdown.

“That swung momentum back to them,” Wildcats coach Steve Crist said.

“We had some unfortunate breaks but you can make your own breaks happen too. … Credit to (Strasburg). They really came out from the first play and played well.”

Following a safety early in the third quarter that was preceded by a leaping interception by Wildcats junior Jakob Cornwell at the Warren County 1-yard line, Strasburg extended its lead to 32-0 with Carr’s 26-yard run.

The Rams capped the scoring in the third quarter when junior defensive lineman Zach Scott had a fumble pop into his arms before returning it 47 yards for the score in what Austin Miller said was “probably the best part of the whole game.”

“Those are the things that linemen dream for, and he got one,” Roller said.

Pritchett rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries, while Adam Miller added 30 yards rushing and 33 yards passing and a touchdown on 4 of 12 passing. Strasburg had 254 yards of total offense.

“We desperately need that,” Roller said of the win. “Our guys played well and we executed. We got some great blocking up front. Justin ran the ball well and Josh accounted for a lot of those big runs Justin had, when he broke them.”

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com

Box Score
Rams 38, Wildcats 0
Warren County 0 0 0 0 – 0
Strasburg 8 15 15 0 – 38
First Quarter
S: Carr 8 run (Adam Miller run), 7:16.
Second Quarter
S: Carr 14 pass from Ad. Miller (Howard run), 5:27.
S: Schlentner fumble recovery (Knapp kick), 0:00.
Third Quarter
S: Carr 26 run (Knapp kick), 6:25.
S: Scott 47 fumble return (kick failed), 5:57.
First downs 2 13
Rushes-yards 20-(-13) 41-212
Passing yards 48 41
Comp-Att-TD-Int 6-13-0-0 5-13-1-1
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0
Punts-avg. 7-25.0 4-35.5
Penalties-yards 3-30 5-35
RUSHING: Warren County, Petitt 7-14, White 1-(-1), R. Rutherford 8-(-23), Dickerson 3-8; Strasburg, Carr 18-156, Pritchett 10-31, Howard 1-8, Ad. Miller 6-30, Bowers 2-10, Knapp 3-(-3).
PASSING: Warren County, R. Rutherford 6-12-48-0-0, Cornwell 0-1-0-0-0; Strasburg, Ad. Miller 4-12-33-1-1, Howard 1-1-9-0-0.
RECEIVING: Warren County, Spangler 1-12, Ford 3-23, McMackin 1-7. Butler 1-6; Strasburg, Howard 1-6, Carr 1-14, Au. Miller 1-5, Ad. Miller 1-9, Schlentner 1-11.