Eagles Fall to Strasburg in First Round of Playoffs

Strasburg QB Hunter Funk lines the Rams up - Photo credit Mike Dowling

Missed opportunities and special teams breakdowns doomed the Eagles prospects for an extended post-season run as the Strasburg Rams defeated Clarke County 34- 27 Friday night.

The Eagles came into the game riding a two-game winning streak, but faced a Ram offense that had dominated them in regular season play, mainly on the back of #9 Rakwon White. While the Eagles managed to stay in the game all night, special teams breakdowns and  turnovers stacked-up points the Eagles struggled to answer.

The game was scoreless through the first quarter. A deflected pass, intercepted by #5 Davey Hardesty midway through the first quarter gave the Eagles good field position at the Ram’s 43 yard line. Clarke County used the turnover to grind 7 minutes off the clock with a fourteen play drive to put the first points on the board as the clock ticked into the second quarter.

But the Rams would need only 3 plays to fire back with a 36 yard touchdown run by junior running back #9 Rakwon White to tie the game at 7-7 just a minute later.

A host of Eagles pile on #9 Rakwon White - Photo credit Mike Dowling

Clarke County would keep the pressure on in spite of the quick score. Two series later, the Eagles forced a Ram fumble and put together a 53 yard drive. With a 1:05 left in the half on fourth and two, #5 Davey Hardesty plowed through the line and ran 24 yards for a touchdown to regain the lead at 14-7.

The Rams however, would answer back with another quick strike. Ram running Back #33 Todd Dean took the kickoff at the Eagle 23 yard line and tore up field for a 77 yard kickoff return using only 12 seconds off the clock to tie the game at the half.

The Rams would receive the ball as the second half started and lightning would strike again. In an unbelievable lapse of Eagle special teams the Rams returned another kick off to score. This time #7 Troy Gordon took the ball from the ten yard line and blazed through the Eagle defenders to score the touchdown.

The affront to special teams spurred the Eagles to respond. As the Rams kicked off #5 Davey Hardesty worked back and forth behind his blockers to pull off a 77 yard return to put the Eagles in striking position on the Ram’s 15. Three plays later Hardesty would run it in from the 18 yard line to tie the score at 21.

#6 Todd Benton and #32 Alex Sefton bring dow #33 Todd Dean - Photo credit - Mike Dowling

But the Rams rushing machine was in high gear as they proceeded to blow through the Eagles with a six play drive, 5 of which were first downs. At 9:16 Rakwon White scored his second touchdown of the night and the Rams went ahead 28-21.

But in a déjà vu moment the Eagles pulled a lightning strike of their own. As Hardesty fielded the ball at the Eagle 20 yard line, a seam opened up and he ran 80 yards for the score that would have tied the game at 28, but a blocked PAT left the Eagles behind for good.

Both teams traded series punting away, but the Eagles were backed up on their own 33 and the snap to punter Alex Sefton sailed high and gave the Rams the ball on the 8 yard line with first and goal. It took Strasburg just two plays to punch it in for Rakwon White’s third touchdown of the night and the final points of the game to take the score 34-27 with 1:24 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles fought hard to come from behind in the fourth quarter but were unable to mount a successful drive and with 59 seconds left in the game gave the ball over on downs to close out their 2011 season.

The Rams will go on to face Amelia County High School next Friday at 7:00 PM in Amelia.

Comments

  1. Right Winger says:

    I noticed that the Strasburg Band stayed for the entire game.
    I noticed that the Strasburg side of the stadium was much louder than the Clarke side of the stadium.

    The football team has been able to host first round playoff games because of their record, yet their “fans” don’t/won’t come out and support them. Pity.

    • It’s just a high school football game. The majority of people who are not directly associated with the team really don’t care and have better things to do.

    • CCHS Parent says:

      I thought the same thing. As a parent that goes to the games to support my child, I am very vocal. I like to yell and scream for all the players as my child has gone to school throughout the years with all these kids. Our band left early again, while Strasburgs was playing until the end. You could hear their cheerleaders but could not hear our own cheerleaders!! It has been awesome going to these games and supporting these boys! They have done an oustanding job this year! My son is a senior this year so it won’t be the same for me next year but I will STILL be there supporting the football team next year!

  2. Stonebroke says:

    It is not only the “fans”, but the entire community refuses to show any type of support! With the exception of Janes Lunch, you won’t find another store front with anything remotely showing off the Orange & Blue colors!

  3. Ivan Lambert says:

    I sincerely wish CCHS the best future in sports, as the orange and blue will always have a place in my heart. And I will certainly make the effort to not be one of those folks who can frequently be heard saying, “Well, in my day…” or “Things were so much better in our day…”

    Yet, someone above has stated the CCHS Band not only did not play the entire game, but departed early in an actual playoff game?
    I’m sorry, but is there any legitimate excuse for that?

    • Jane Boyles says:

      Yes, there was a very legitimate reason for the Band leaving after their half-time show on Friday. Eight members of the Clarke County High School Band had the opportunity to travel down to Charlottesville to participate in UVA’s Annual Band Day which was held on Saturday. Some of those students had made plans to travel to Charlottesville on Friday evening, and others needed to leave very early on Saturday morning in order to arrive at UVA for registration at 8:00am. Once the Band had completed their half-time show, the students who were leaving for Charlottesville could depart, and the others could make their plans to leave on Saturday morning.

      This certainly seems to be a perfectly good reason for the Band to be allowed to leave after their show on Friday evening.

      UVA’s Band Day 2011 was very successful, and for anyone interested, here is a link to Saturday’s half-time show, which included the Clarke County Band students.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc0UawNaZzk

  4. Citizen for the Band says:

    I’m sorry that the band didn’t stay, but they’re not allowed to play when they do stay anyways. A lot of their songs are cut short because of the stipulations placed on them by the administration. There presence is irrelevant when they’re not allowed to do what they’re there to do. Kudos to the Strasburg band for staying, but they’re not the ones who are being prohibited from playing. I think we need to stop criticizing the support of the community, the band, and the cheerleaders and instead focus on a positive next season.

  5. i was a member of the football team and graduated last year from cchs and looking back to how the coaches and the team has unfortunatly been knocked out early the past few years… the community is a hugeeeee part of the intensity of the game… i looked forward to hearing the loud yelling and cheering and got in game mode from it and i believe others did too, and it can make or break a team. its as simple as that… and after seeing this years team play against william monroe i feel like the discipline the coaches used to absolutely hammer into our heads has fallen off the map i saw players on the sideline messing around, joking, counting helmet stickers, and some unspeakable things and this is very disapointing to me and i hope that the coaches will tighten down and put the team back to where they should be ….. like beating strasburg by 40+ points not getting beaten by them at “the felt” in the first round… come on coaches take control of your team and stop stalling in the playoffs

    • CCHS Parent says:

      Were you watching the same William Monroe game everyone else did? I think our team did very well with the fact that William Monroe played dirty. They hit our boys places they shouldn’t have and two of our boys got their fingers sliced during the hand shake. This was the best game of the season and I have to say that our boys handled themselves very well despite the bad attitude of William Monroe!! To the coaches, they made mistakes, BUT all of those boys have come a long way this season! I am very proud of them for hanging tough this season!!