By Randy Arrington
STRASBURG, Oct. 22 — After starting the season at 4-0, the Luray Bulldogs have had two games cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols, followed by two losses on the road. With two games remaining, Luray (4-2) will still easily make the Region B tournament, but the Bulldogs are “on the bubble” as to whether or not they will be able to host a first round playoff game.
On Friday night at Strasburg, the Bulldogs hung tough with the Rams in the first half, but penalties and turnovers mounted in the second half as the Rams pulled away. The only score of the first half came late in the first quarter, when the Rams’ senior running back Brady Neary broke loose for an 88-yard touchdown.
Prior to that possession, Luray had driven down the field over several minutes to the Strasburg 12-yard line before the drive stalled and the Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs. That proved to be Luray’s most successful drive among five possessions in the first half. The Bulldogs were able to sustain drives in their first two possessions, but went three-and-out the rest of the way in the half.
Luray recovered two Ram fumbles in the second quarter, but they were unable to capitalize on the turnovers. The Bulldogs went to the locker room trailing 7-0.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a four-and-out and gave the ball to the Rams near midfield. Strasburg then put together a nine-play drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Neary, who scored his second touchdown of the night to put the Rams up 14-0 late in the third quarter.
On the first play of their next possession, Luray fumbled and gave Strasburg the ball at the Bulldog 31-yard line. The Rams hit a 27-yard pass to sophomore tight end Griffin Carter to set up a first-and-goal at the three. Senior running back Tanner Jenkins took it in for the score to give Strasburg its final lead of 20-0, after a failed two-point conversion. After only leading 7-0 midway through the third, the Rams scored twice in less than two minutes to build a three touchdown lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the closing minute of the third quarter and halfway through the fourth, both teams would trade fumbles. On its second possession of the second half, the Bulldogs again fumbled on their first play. The Rams would hold on to the ball for two plays before a great bobbling catch ended in a fumble that gave Luray the ball back on their own 3-yard line. Luray then ran seven plays before fumbling it back to the home team.
Strasburg closed out the Homecoming win and moved to 7-1 on the season. The Rams’ only loss this season came to Clarke 22-12 on Sept. 24. Next up, the Rams travel to Page County on Thursday, Oct. 28 (note day change).
Luray drops to 4-2 and will host Clarke (7-1 overall), who stands as the only undefeated team in the district at 4-0.
To check schedules, rosters, results and standings for local high school sports,
see the Bull Run District website.