Eagles run through Rams in rout

Clarke County's Daniel Braithwaite wards off Strasburg's Jacob Knapp during a first quarter pass play Friday night in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily
Clarke County's Bryan Wallace is flagged for a face mask penalty after running down Strasburg quarterback Ethan Duckworth during the second quarter of Friday night's game in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily
Strasburg's Austin Miller looks to avoid Clarke County's Brett McDonald during a game on Oct. 7 in Strasburg. Rich Cooley/Daily
Strasburg's Stephen Kloosterman tackles Clarke County's Hunter Rodgers to prevent a touchdown after a long gain during a game on Oct. 7 in Strasburg. The Rams will host King William in the first round of the playoffs Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily file
Strasburg quarterback Ethan Duckworth scrambles in the backfield during a game against Clarke County earlier this season in Strasburg. The Rams host King William in the playoffs tonight. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – Clarke County’s size and physicality were simply too much for Strasburg to handle on the football field Friday night.

The Eagles handily controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and rode its single wing offense to 42 unanswered points to start the game and 478 total yards as they bullied Strasburg in a 52-14 rout in Bull Run District action at Ram Stadium.

Clarke County also limited Strasburg to just 176 yards of offense and forced three turnovers.

“It’s one of those things that you practice but you can’t simulate but so much of another team’s offense or their personnel,” Rams head coach Mark Roller said. “When you’re averaging 6-4, 285 pounds up front, that’s kind of hard to simulate in your practice to plan for that. They just kind of dominated us tonight. Those guys live in the weight room and so that’s where our guys need to start with. We need to start getting our guys into the weight room and they have to start understanding that’s where it starts.”

The Eagles (4-2, 2-1 Bull Run) rolled up 434 yards rushing on 40 carries in the victory, an average of 10.9 yards per rush. Senior running back Hunter Rogers – a second team all-state selection last season for the Virginia High School Leage Group 2A state runner-up – led the way with 17 carries for 227 yards and three touchdowns, while senior quarterback Chris Davis added 100 yards and a trio of scores on just four carries as Clarke County scored touchdowns on its first six possessions against the Rams (4-2, 1-1).

Clarke County has scored 114 points in its last two games since suffering an overtime loss to Central on Sept. 23.

“The last two weeks, maybe three weeks, the coaches have been getting on us, pretty much talking about discipline and how we need to be our own team this year,” Rogers said.

“We’re more mentally focused than we have been all season these last two weeks and I think it’s been showing on the field.”

The Eagles set the tone early for what would turn into a long night for the Strasburg defense, as Clarke County opted to receive the opening kickoff and promptly marched 70 yards to the end zone. Rogers carried all six times on the drive, capping the march with a 2-yard score to put Clarke County up 7-0 less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

“We ran the same play eight times in a row,” Eagles coach Chris Parker said. “Once we had success we wanted to come out and make a statement, and play hard right from the get-go and that’s what we stressed all week. … This is always a tough game. They play us tough and we just played well.”

Smith added a 32-yard touchdown run three minutes later behind a nice downfield block from Rogers, and Rogers followed with a 6-yard scoring run that put the Eagles up 21-0 late in the first quarter.

Davis – who also completed a 44-yard pass on one of his two attempts in the win – and Rogers traded another pair of touchdown runs in the second quarter before Davis’ 62-yard touchdown put Clarke County up 42-0 with 4:53 to play in the second quarter.

The Eagles ended the first half with 325 yards rushing and averaged 13 yards per carry. Clarke County had eight plays go for 25 yards or more.

“We had guys in the right spots, we just weren’t making tackles. They were running through our tackles – our arm tackles,” Roller said. “We knew where they were going but we just didn’t execute and when you have a couple guys doing the right things and a couple guys not doing the right things you can’t put it all together and stop somebody like that.”

Strasburg had mustered just 15 yards of offense until the Rams strung together a seven-play, 74-yard drive that ended with Ethan Duckworth’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Brody Tomblin with 1:50 left in the first half.

The Rams, relying almost exclusively on Duckworth’s arm, opened the second half with a 12-play, 68-yard drive that ended with a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Grant Scott on fourth down to cut Clarke County’s lead to 42-14.

Duckworth completed 13 of 26 passes for 169 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while completing three passes each to running backs Josh Pritchett (57 yards receiving) and Austin Miller (39 yards receiving) in the loss.

The Rams rushed 19 times for just 17 yards.

“They’re pretty good up front and our guys, we just weren’t coming off the ball and blocking in there, and when we did have a hole it closed really quickly,” Roller said.

“I think we did a pretty good job throwing and pass blocking for the most part, we’ve just gotta do a better job now (of) getting our guys open.”

Clarke County quickly answered Strasburg’s second touchdown with a four-play, 77-yard scoring drive that began with Rogers’ 46-yard scamper and ended with Daniel Braithwaite’s 5-yard touchdown run.

A Strasburg interception late in the third quarter set up Nicholas Bahamonde’s 25-yard field goal that set the final margin.

Strasburg returns to action next week at Warren County, which fell to William Monroe 35-10 Friday night.

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

Box score

Eagles 52, Rams 14
Clarke County 21 21 10 0 – 52
Strasburg 0 8 6 0 – 14
First Quarter
CC: Rogers 2 run (Bahamonde kick), 9:38.
CC: Davis 32 run (Bahamonde kick), 6:35.
CC: Rogers 6 run (Bahamonde kick), 0:36.
Second Quarter
CC: Davis 8 run (Bahamonde kick), 10:17.
CC: Rogers 10 run (Bahamonde kick), 6:16.
CC: Davis 62 run (Bahamonde kick), 4:53.
S: Tomblin 26 pass from Duckworth (Taff pass from Duckworth), 1:50.
Third Quarter
S: G. Scott 13 pass from Duckworth (pass failed), 7:46.
CC: Braithwaite 5 run (Bahamonde kick), 6:27.
CC: Bahamonde 25 field goal, 0:16.
CC S
First downs 16 11
Rushes-yards 40-434 19-17
Passing yards 44 169
Comp-Att-Int 1-2-0 13-26-2
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-58 6-43
Punts-avg. 1-30.0 4-40.5
RUSHING: Clarke County, Rogers 17-227, Davis 4-100, Braithwaite 5-43, Baylor 1-12, Hall 2-29, Buzalsky 1-(-3), Parrott 3-8, Price 3-1, Dinkins 2-9, Palmer 2-8; Strasburg, Duckworth 7-7, A. Miller 7-2, Pritchett 2-2, King 1-3, Mason 1-4.
PASSING: Clarke County, Davis 1-2-44-0-0; Strasburg, Duckworth 13-26-169-2-2.
RECEIVING: Clarke County, McDonald 1-44; Strasburg, Kloosterman 1-11, Taff 2-16, A. Miller 3-39, Pritchett 3-57, Tomblin 1-26, G. Scott 2-21.

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