Rams looking to bounce against Governors

Strasburg's Austin Miller blocks a point after a touchdown kick by Clarke County's Tanner Dinkins during the first quarter. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG — Strasburg will look to bounce back from a tough loss when it hosts Nelson County in non-district football action today.

The Rams are coming off a disappointing 49-20 loss to Clarke County last week. Strasburg coach Mark Roller said the Rams will have their hands full against Nelson County.

The Governors have struggled to win any games past years, but they are 3-4 this season.

“They’re a lot better than they have been,” Roller said. “The coach there, (Matt) Hicks, I think he’s doing a pretty good job with those guys and starting to turn them around, being very coachable.”

Nelson County is coming off an 82-6 victory over Massanutten Military Academy last week.

The Governors are led by sophomore quarterback Brice Wilson. Roller said Wilson is a little like Skyline’s Ryan Scott. Roller said he’s very mobile, but he can also throw it.

“They’re going to do the read option some and that’s going to be a little bit difficult for us,” Roller said. “But we’ve seen it a little bit, so that’s not so bad. But when you get a guy that can run a little bit and has the moves that he has it kind of worries you.”

Roller said that Nelson County uses the spread formation, and can run the ball or throw it. He said they have plenty of athletes and speed which concerns him.

One of the big things Roller said he is looking for from his team is to play better defensively against the run.

“I’d like to see us stop the run a little bit, as far as defense goes,” Roller said. “We haven’t been able to do that. And we’re really going to put a little emphasis on that. And we’ve done well in the secondary. And I want to see us put a few more points on the board this week. I think we can accomplish those things. We just need to stay within ourselves and do the things we’ve been taught to do.”

Roller said the Governors have size up front and they like to bring pressure.

Strasburg’s offense has been a little up and down this season. The Rams’ running game has been led by Austin Miller. However, they’ve struggled at times to run the ball.

Roller said that part of the reason they’ve struggled with the running game is because teams have focused on stopping it and loading the box against them.

The Rams (3-4, 1-1 Bull Run) have had success in the passing game, but they will be without starting quarterback Chase Hart this week due to injury. Sophomore Dylan Hamrick will take his place.

Hamrick and Hart both saw plenty of action early in the season as they were in a battle for the starting spot.

Strasburg wide receiver Brody Tomblin said the team has plenty of confidence in Hamrick.

“(Hamrick’s experience) helps a lot because when he gets out there he can actually get into a pretty good rhythm at first,” Tomblin said. “He’s been with the offense for three or four games so it helps that he was there, definitely.”

Strasburg has a young squad this season, but Tomblin said he has seen some real growth in the younger players.

“I think they’re getting better,” Tomblin said. “Some of them were pretty timid at the beginning of the year, but they’re coming along now.”

The game is a key to the Rams chances for a playoff spot.  They are currently tied for ninth in Region 2B and the top eight teams make the playoffs.

Nelson County is a new opponent for the Rams, and Tomblin said he enjoys playing teams he’s never faced before.

“It’s something new, I do actually kind of like that,” Tomblin said. “But it’s going to be something different for sure. I think we’ll be ready for it.”