Miller overcomes injury, sparks Rams past Generals
QUICKSBURG — Austin Miller had a little scare on Friday night, but he bounced back from injury in a big way.
The Strasburg senior tailback/linebacker had to come out of the game due to a leg injury early in the third quarter of the Rams’ 34-0 football victory over Stonewall Jackson.
“At first when it first happened I got scared just because it was a little painful at first,” Miller said. “But after I got on the sidelines it started to feel better. I think the adrenaline just started pumping through.”
Not only was Miller able to make it back into the game two possessions later, but he finished off his night in style.
Miller went 89 yards for Strasburg’s final touchdown of the game with eight minutes remaining in the contest.
“We saw (Stonewall Jackson’s Drew) Binon when he got pulled back to linebacker. We saw him blitzing and so when he did that it just gave me a perfect cut-back hole,” Miller said. “The line gave me a hole and I had the option to choose outside or go inside. And then I just saw green grass on the cut back. So I just hit the cut back, and I just went off from there.”
The run, the last of the game for Miller, gave him 213 rushing yards and was his third touchdown of the game — both career highs.
“It’s exciting,” Miller said. “My last time playing Stonewall in football, last time having a first game — my senior year. It’s just exciting. Everyone helped me out with that. I’m really grateful for that.”
Miller said a lot of the credit goes to his offensive line for doing such a solid job against a big defensive line.
“The line did a tremendous job up front,” Miller said. “They made good holes, held their blocks when they needed to on passes.”
Miller scored both touchdowns in the first half as Strasburg built a 14-0 halftime lead.
The first came in the first quarter on a 25-yard run to cap off a four-play, 44-yard drive.
His second touchdown came after Strasburg sophomore Trevor Sager recovered a fumble by Stonewall Jackson senior quarterback Brendan Hoover late in the first half.
Miller hauled in a 13-yard pass from Strasburg quarterback Dylan Hamrick with 1:17 left in the opening half.
The Rams (1-0) used two quarterbacks in the game — sophomores Hamrick and Chase Hart. On the first possession of the third quarter, Hart led the Rams on a seven-play, 79-yard drive. Hart threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Grant Scott with 9:01 left in the third quarter.
Hart added a rushing touchdown on a 1-yard plunge with nine seconds left in the third quarter.
Hart finished 6-for-8 for 67 yards passing, while Hamrick went 5-for-8 for 68 yards.
Strasburg finished the game with 409 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Rams were stellar as they held the Generals to just 89 yards of offense.
“Coming in we weren’t sure how good they were going to be,” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said of his defense. “We knew we had a pretty good linebacking corps. They stepped up to the challenge tonight.”
Stonewall Jackson had to play the second half without fullback/linebacker Jacob Murphy, who suffered an injury late in the first half.
The Generals (0-1) turned the ball over three times, and had several drives in the first half stall deep in Strasburg territory.
“We moved the ball very well,” Stonewall Jackson Pete Lampman said of the first half. “Then we made the wrong read or fumbled the snap and we’d run backwards. We just made bad football decisions in the first half.”
Rams 34, Generals 0
Strasburg 6 8 12 8–34
Stonewall Jackson 0 0 0 0–0
S: Miller 25 run (Pass failed), 8:04
S: MIller 13 pass from Hamrick (Sager pass from Hamrick), 1:17
S: Scott 13 pass from Hart (Pass failed), 9:01
S: Hart 1 run (Pass failed), :09
S: Miller 89 run (Bray run), 8:00
First downs 24 8
Rushes-yards 41-274 38-66
Passing yards 135 23
Passing 11-16-2-0 3-10-0-0
Penalties-yards 3-30 5-35
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-3
Punts-Avg. 2-17.5 6-28.5
RUSHING: Strasburg, Miller 16-213, Carter 3-0, Hart 7-(-7), Hamrick 6-(-13), Bray 4-20, Sager 1-34, Holliday 3-24, King 1-3. Stonewall Jackson, Murphy 7-30, Hoover 18-(-6), Patton 4-12, Ritchie 3-5, Claude 5-25, Ortiz 1-0.
PASSING: Strasburg, Hart 5-8-68-1-0, Hamrick 6-8-67-1-0. Stonewall Jackson, Hoover 3-9-23-0-0, Ritchie 0-1-0-0-0.
RECEIVING: Strasburg, Kloosterman 2-13, Miller 1-13, Scott 1-13, Sager 3-36, Tomblin 3-50, Carter 1-10. Stonewall Jackson, Patton 2-14, Ritchie 1-5.