WASHINGTON, Va. -- It was a bit of a role reversal for most of Strasburg’s starting football team Friday night. With their road game against Rappahannock County well in hand at halftime, many of the Rams starting players cheered on their teammates from the sidelines. Strasburg was ahead 55-0 at the half and defeated the Panthers 69-0.
“I’m extremely satisfied with the way we played,” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said after the game. “We executed well and we did things right.”
Roller was especially pleased with his team’s second unit, which executed well in the second half. Strasburg did not allow a Panthers touchdown, and their backup players scored twice against Rappahannock. In the third quarter Brandon Martin ran in a 25-yard touchdown and in the fourth quarter Brady Neary had the lone score, a 74-yard TD run. Neary, the Rams starting kicker, followed up that touchdown with his 9th extra point of the game.
“They don’t get a lot of playing time but for them to get an opportunity to play is important down the road,” Roller said after the game.
In the first half, Strasburg’s starters got out to a fast start. On the Rams’ first offensive play of the game, quarterback Chase Hart hit Trevor Sager for a 58-yard touchdown. Sager would score two more times in the first quarter, on runs of 40 and 63 yards. Those were Sager’s only two carries of the game and he still finished as the Rams’ leading rusher with 103 yards on the ground.
“We came out strong in the first half,” Sager said after the game. “Everybody did what we were supposed to.”
That strong effort in the first half put Sager and the rest of the first team offense on the bench for the second half. Sager said he enjoyed the change of pace and had fun cheering on his teammates from the sideline.
“I just love watching those guys who don’t normally get a chance.” he said with a smile after the big win. “It was their time to shine.”
The Rams defense held the Panthers to 115 yards of total offense, all of it coming on the ground. Rappahannock’s leading rusher was J.B. Leidenheimer, who had 51 yards on 8 carries. Quarterback Taven Murrah added 30 rushing yards on 12 carries, but Murrah struggled to get the Panthers’ passing game going. He threw five passes, but none connected with Rappahannock’s receivers, and one was intercepted and returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Strasburg’s Peter McKechnie. That interception came late in the first half and gave Strasburg the 55-0 lead going into the half.
The Rams entire team enjoyed the blowout win, especially after losing to Page County just a week earlier. The win puts the Rams back on track. Roller told his team to enjoy it over the weekend, but cautioned that they need to come to practice Monday ready to work.
Strasburg’s next contest is a home game against East Rockingham. Roller and Sager both know the team needs to continue to improve as they prepare for conference games later in the season. Sager says that starts in practice, where every player needs to give 100-percent on every rep.
“We’ve got to keep our composure and make sure we do what we’re supposed to do.” he said.