FRONT ROYAL -- The Strasburg Rams parlayed a strong first quarter and took advantage of mistake-prone Skyline to come away with 14-8 road win against the Hawks.
The Rams rushed for 170 of their 225 yards in the first half to open up a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The points held up as the error-prone Hawks came up short in their desperation fourth-quarter rally.
"I'm excited for the team and how they played," Strasburg coach Mark Roller said. "We weren't for sure if we could run on them but I'm pleased and happy with how we executed."
Clinging to a 14-8 lead, the Hawks forced a Strasburg punt and took over with just over two minutes left in the game needing to go 70 yards to tie or win the game.
After the Hawks jumped offside to push them back five yards, Strasburg defensive back Brady Neary sealed the win with an interception near midfield.
The Rams then ran out the final 1:54 as the Hawks were helpless to stop the clock.
"I saw (Ethan) Caperton and No. 11 (Aidan Vaught) line up wide on the same side so I knew what was coming," Neary said. "It was a little underthrown and it was right to me."
The Hawks turned the ball over five times in the game, squandering several chances to put points on the board.
"Turnovers and mistakes were big factors in tonight's outcome," Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said. "Definitely a tough way to lose a game with so many mistakes."
The miscues came early and often for the Hawks.
On the opening drive of the game, Vaught fumbled the ball away, giving the Rams great field position at the Skyline 13.
Three plays later quarterback Ryan Roller sprinted out to the right and hit Tanner Jenkins for an 8-yard touchdown.
The Hawks managed one first down on their next possession but were forced to punt.
The Rams then put together a 12-play, 71-yard drive, with all of the yards coming on the ground, as Griffin Turpen finished it off with a 2-yard run.
Skyline put together a good drive to start the second quarter, rolling down to the Rams' 14.
With third-and-two from the 6-yard line, Skyline fullback Dustin Gue fumbled the direct snap and Walker Conrad recovered for the Rams to end the threat.
Garrett Mohr came up with a fumble recovery for the Hawks on the ensuing possession to end a good Strasburg drive and Vaught reeled off a 44-yard run on the next play to set Skyline up at the Rams 39.
But on the next play, Strasburg put pressure on Hawks quarterback Blake Appleton, whose desperation throw was tipped at the line and intercepted by lineman Tyreese Lee to end another Skyline threat.
The Rams began the second half by putting together a time-consuming 10-play drive that eventually ended in a punt, but Skyline failed to take advantage, self-destructing once again.
Vaught returned a Strasburg punt 66 yards to set up the Hawks at the Rams 18-yard line.
But on the very next play, Appleton tried to hit Caperton on the left side of the end zone, but Roller cut in front to pick off another pass and turn the Hawks away once again.
The Rams then strung together 10 plays that carried over into the fourth quarter before punting the ball back to the Hawks.
In all, Skyline ran just one play in the entire third quarter.
The Hawks took over with 11:47 left in the game and put together another solid drive, marching down to the Rams' 15.
But from there the Hawks faltered once again.
Caperton hauled in a pass from Appleton early in the drive and rambled 44 yards before a shoestring tackle saved a touchdown at the Rams' 29.
The Hawks picked up another first down to the Rams' 15, but from there things turned ugly once again for Skyline.
On a third-and-10 from the 15, the shotgun snap to Appleton sailed over his head for a 13-yard loss.
The Hawks decided to go for it on fourth-and-23 and nearly pulled it off on a pass to Caperton.
The senior wideout managed to pick up 19 yards but came up four yards short to give the ball back to the Rams.
"Turnovers played a big part in the game," said Caperton, who caught five passes for 98 yards. "It completely messed up the game for us. We kind of lost our confidence, and when we regained it, it was too late."
After forcing Strasburg to three-and-out on their next possession, the Hawks took over at the Rams 40 after a short punt.
This time the Hawks finally finished the drive off as Vaught rambled 21 yards to the eight and then punched the ball in on his next carry to put Skyline on the board.
The snap on the extra point kick was low, and Caperton, the holder, scooped up the loose ball, rolled out and fired a perfect pass to Donovan Porter in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 14-8.
Neary's pick moments later finished off the Hawks.
"I was absolutely impressed with our offensive line and our backs," coach Roller said. "We took what they gave us and the guys did a good job in setting up their blocks."
Strasburg dominated time of possession, running 59 offensive plays to the Hawks' 30.
"We definitely had to establish the run," Neary said. "That's what we needed to do and we did."
Jenkins led the Rams' multi-pronged rushing attack with 64 yards on nine carries. Braden Stern added 60 yards and Neary chipped in 57.
Vaught led the Hawks with 97 yards on 13 carries.
Appleton despite his three picks, completed 10-of-14 passes for 152 yards.