MADISON — Strasburg set the tone from the very first play from scrimmage in its 53-16 thumping of Madison County on Friday night.
The Rams kicked off to the Mountaineers, but they still scored on the first offensive play of the game. Camren Rutz pounced on a fumble and returned it 30 yards for the Rams first score of the game.
“They dropped it on the ground and Cam picked it up.” Strasburg coach Mark Roller said after the game. “What better for a defensive lineman to get a scoop and score?”
The Rams offense picked up right where the defense left off, scoring four more first half touchdowns. Two of those came from senior Jalen Bray, who ran in scores of 25 and 14 yards respectively. Bray led all Rams with 72 rushing yards, despite getting only 3 carries, but after the game he said he was most impressed by Strasburg’s defensive effort.
“We played excellent overall,” Bray said. “The defense played very aggressively.”
Strasburg gave up just 16 points in the game. The Rams forced five fumbles, and recovered one to end a Mountaineers drive. Madison did score twice, first in the second quarter when quarterback Jeremy Fox hit Khalid West for a 21-yard touchdown pass. The Mountaineers would get inside the 2 yard line one more time in the first half, but failed to convert a fourth down.
Madison wouldn’t score again until late in the fourth quarter, when Strasburg’s starters had been taken out of the game. That score came on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Fox to Jack Bourdon. Roller said he was pleased with how his backups performed in the win, giving up just the single second half touchdown.
“These guys, they played well. They don’t get a whole lot of time in practice,” Roller said. “We gave it to kids who are not used to playing in that situation.”
Strasburg’s starters will likely play all four quarters next week when the Rams take on Clarke County in an important district game. Roller told his players after the blowout win that the focus now shifts to the upcoming game against the Eagles.
“I’m proud of the way the guys responded tonight,” said Roller. “Now we get ready for the big one.”
The Rams are now 5-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Page County. Clarke County is 5-2, with losses to Luray and Stuarts Draft.
“We can’t come out there and take them lightly,” Bray said. “Clarke (County) has a great team, but we’re ready for a tough game and we’re excited.”