Miller, Rams top Mustangs

FALLS CHURCH – Strasburg started off a little slow Friday night, but a big stop by the defense helped generate some momentum and the Rams didn’t give it up.

Strasburg’s Austin Miller had three touchdowns and a big game rushing as the Rams defeated George Mason, 25-14, in Bull Run District football action.

“I think we just kind of settled down,” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said of the Rams’ slow start. “Early on we got ourselves in trouble by getting a couple penalties and kind of shot ourselves in the foot. But the kids overcame that. We buckled down. We started playing well defensively.”

The Mustangs (2-3, 0-2 Bull Run) took an early lead. George Mason went 69 yards on six plays, all of which were runs. George Mason’s Dustin Green scored on a 4-yard touchdown to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead with 4:49 left in the first quarter.

On George Mason’s next drive the Mustangs went for it on fourth-and-6 from the George Mason 49-yard line. The Rams held Green to only four yards, and took over on downs.

“The defense is really playing well,” Roller said. “We were able to come up with that big stop, and they came up with a couple big stops throughout the game. Those front five they did a tremendous job.”

The Rams (4-1, 1-0 Bull Run) took the momentum and kept it. Strasburg drove 53 yards on nine plays. They used seven runs and two passes on the drive.

Miller, who ran for 179 yards on 31 carries, scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 7-6 with 8:08 left in the first half.

“Offensive line was definitely making holes, plus I was running through them,” Miller said. “Shoutout to the line, they definitely did their job.”

On the ensuing drive, Strasburg forced a George Mason punt. George Mason punter Peter Sacrdino fumbled the snap and the Rams tackled him at the George Mason 6-yard line.

One play later, Miller scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Rams up 12-7 with 6:05 left in the first half. Miller said that was his favorite touchdown of the night as he had to reach the ball out over the goal line for the score.

“I’ve always wanted to reach the ball across to score,” Miller said. “I had two players on my legs and then just reaching in the end zone – that was pretty cool.”

The Rams scored on the opening drive of the second half. They went 71 yards on 11 plays.

Miller scored his third rushing touchdown on a 9-yard run for an 18-7 lead with 6:26 left in the third quarter.

The Mustangs scored late in the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-10 from the Strasburg 25-yard line, George Mason quarterback Thomas Creed connected with Enzo Paradiso for a touchdown to cut the lead to 18-14 with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

On George Mason’s next possession, Strasburg’s Brody Tomblin intercepted a Creed pass at the George Mason 33-yard line with 7:43 left in the game.

The Rams needed only five plays to score on a 3-yard touchdown run by Strasburg quarterback Ethan Duckworth with 5:55 left in the game.

Duckworth was also 6 for 12 passing for 81 yards in rainy conditions.

“Ethan stood in there and was able to hit people just where he needed to hit them. He had a couple big throws,” Roller said. “He’s throwing the ball well. We’re pass blocking pretty well. We’re doing some things right and I’m pleased with that.”

The Rams had 209 yards rushing as a team. Strasburg’s defense was able to hold George Mason’s double-wing offense to only 113 yards rushing.

Strasburg is off to a strong start to the season, and hosts last year’s Group 2A state runner-up Clarke County next week.

“It’s nice to be 4-1,” Roller said. “Certainly there is a big game next week, but we’re going to enjoy this one. Then we’ll get back to work Monday and get ready for the Eagles.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or

Rams 25, Mustangs 14
Strasburg 0 12 6 7–25
George Mason 7 0 7 0–14
First quarter
GM: Green 4 run (Scardino kick), 4:49
Second quarter
S: Miller 4 run (Kick failed), 8:08
S: Miller 6 run (Run failed), 6:55
Third quarter
S: Miller 9 run (Pass failed), 6:26
GM: Paradiso 25 pass from Creed (Scardino kick), :13
Fourth qaurter
S: Duckworth 3 run (Knapp kick), 5:55
First downs 16 11
Rushes-yards 44-209 40-113
Passing yards 81 51
Passing 6-12-0-0 4-9-1-2
Penalties-yards 6-60 2-8
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-1
Punts-Avg. 3-33.3 1-39.0
RUSHING: Strasburg, Miller 31-179, Pritchett 6-26, Duckworth 6-6, Tomblin 1-(-2). George Mason, Green 23-84, Roou 5-12, Creed 3-(-22), Felgar 8-55, Scardino 1-(-16).
PASSING: Strasburg, Duckworth 6-12-81-0-0. George Mason, Creed 4-9-51-1-2.
RECEIVING: Strasburg, Rickard 2-14, Miller 1-5, Taff 2-45, Scott 1-17. George Mason, Paradiso 3-28, Green 1-33.