High school football roundup: Rams fall to top-seeded Clarke County

Sherando tops Dominion; Stonewall loses to Altavista

Mark Roller

A banged-up Strasburg High School football team held an early lead over top-seeded Clarke County in the quarterfinal round of the Region 2B playoffs Friday night, but the Eagles eventually overwhelmed the No. 8 Rams for a 63-20 victory.

The loss ended Strasburg’s season, while Clarke County (10-1) advances to the regional semifinal round this Friday against No. 4 Luray.

“I think our kids played hard,” Strasburg head coach Mark Roller said on Saturday, “and I think here at the end of the season we’ve had a lot of soldiers beaten and bruised and hurt, and they just keep coming back. I think finally it just took a toll on us. Not that that was completely the whole game. I mean (Clarke County) really wore us down and then they started attacking up the middle and we weren’t able to stop it.”

Strasburg (5-6) got on the scoreboard first when a Clarke County fumble on the game’s opening possession set up a Ram scoring drive that ended when sophomore quarterback Chase Hart found junior Brody Tomblin for a 46-yard touchdown pass and a 6-0 lead.

Clarke County responded with two touchdown runs apiece from Peyton Rutherford and Kyle Baylor, however, to take a 28-6 lead into halftime.

“We were still within the game early on and had a few opportunities and we just didn’t capitalize on opportunities that they gave us,” Roller said. “Dropped a few balls and missed a few blocks. … Having that early lead, I think that helped us a little bit there, gave us a little confidence, but as the game went on we started getting beat up because we’re so thin.”

The Rams scored on the first possession of the third quarter on a 26-yard TD pass from Hart to Tomblin and, after another Rutherford scoring run for Clarke, had a chance to counter with another touchdown drive. However, Hart’s pass from the 1-yard line was intercepted in the end zone by Kyle Baylor and returned 102 yards for a score to push Clarke’s lead to 42-12.

Tomblin, who hauled in a 66-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter, finished with 12 receptions for 203 yards and three touchdowns for the Rams. Hart completed 16 of 27 passes for 233 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, though the Rams couldn’t get the running game going and mustered just 28 yards rushing. Senior running back Austin Miller had 11 carries for 30 yards.

Rutherford finished with 16 carries for 234 yards and four touchdowns – he had scoring runs of 26, 31, 58 and 71 yards – while Baylor carried 12 times for 106 yards. The Eagles had 489 yards rushing and 561 yards of offense.

“I think the big thing is a lot of people don’t understand when you have injuries that amount to losing a quarter of your team, and you have other guys that are playing with injuries, that we’ve played very well for being as beat up and banged up as we were, especially (Friday) night,” Roller said. “Those guys that were out there, they sucked it up and they gave it everything they had. We ran into a bigger and better opponent. But overall, through the season, from the young guys to the seniors, those guys, they battled every week, and that’s something for them to be happy about, that never give up mentality. That’s gonna take them a lot further in life.”

Sherando 27, Dominion 10

The No. 4 Warriors cruised past No. 5 Dominion in the Region 4C quarterfinals on Friday night, setting up a rematch with rival and No. 1 seed Millbrook on Friday night in the semifinal round.

Dominion (7-4) took an early lead on Ramon Blas’ 37-yard field goal less than two minutes into the game but Shearndo (9-2) scored the next 20 points to seize control.

Junior running back T.J. Washington put the Warriors on the board when he hauled in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Entsminger with 7:50 left in the first quarter, and Mike Perry’s 1-yard touchdown run and Washington’s 61-yard scoring scamper sent Sherando into halftime with a 20-3 lead.

The Titans cut Sherando’s lead in half with quarterback John Hayes’ 1-yard run midway through the third quarter, but Entsminger’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Washington put the game away with 6:59 to play.

Washington had 27 carries for 172 yards and seven receptions for 73 yards while accounting for three Sherando touchdowns. Entsminger completed 10 of 17 passes for 144 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Senior receiver/defensive back Aaron Banks had a 48-yard reception and led the Warriors’ defense with 10 total tackles and two interceptions.

Altavista 48, Stonewall Jackson 6

The No. 5 Generals fell to fourth-seeded Altavista in the opening round of the Region 1B playoffs on Friday night, ending Stonewall’s second straight losing season and extending the program’s losing streak to 27 straight games.

Stonewall trailed 42-0 at halftime after Altavista erupted for 35 points in the second quarter, and 48-0 after three quarters before finally getting on the board in the fourth.