On a crisp Fall Friday night, perfectly made for high school football, the Cougars from Manassas Park knew they would have their hands full with unbeaten Strasburg. In a game filled with big plays, the Strasburg Rams were able to make one more big play than the Cougars and came away with a hard fought 35-34 victory.
The Rams received the opening kickoff and drove into Cougar territory, but eventually turned the ball over on downs.
On the Cougars first possession they methodically drove down the field mostly on the legs of running back Chuck Moorman and topped it off with a short touchdown run by quarterback Ryan Kolb.
The Rams quickly answered back when Rams quarterback Troy Gordon hit wide receiver Tommy Caison for a 34 yard touchdown on a nice play action pass. The Cougars next drive appeared to stall near mid-field and they lined up for a punt but Kolb faked it and scampered down the sideline for a 60-yard touchdown.
The Rams again answered back with a touchdown of their own making the score 13-13 late in the second quarter. With time almost expired in the first half Strasburg’s Gordon struck again. After being flushed from the pocket Gordon scrambled 27 yards for the score as time expired in the half putting the Rams up seven at the half.
The Cougars received the second half kickoff but had to punt it to the Rams who then began feeding the ball to their star running back Rakwon White. White ripped off chunks of yards at a time eventually ending with 318 yards on 45 carries and 2 touchdowns.
With the score at 27-13 in favor of the Rams and no success in stopping White, the Cougars came up with the first turnover of the game when they recovered a Ram fumble.
Kolb then promptly hit wide receiver Fred Ageyman on a quick slant who sprinted past the Ram secondary to score and get within one score. The two point conversion by Nick Johnson made the score 27-21 in favor of the Rams. On the very next Ram possession, Cougar linebacker Drew Lewis forced a Rakwon White fumble that was scooped up by Kolb who took it down inside the five yard line where Chuck Moorman punched it in for the score to take back the lead 28-27. The Cougar defense stiffened up just enough despite a constant battering by White and forced the Rams to give the ball back to the Cougars halfway through the fourth quarter.
The Ram defense, expecting the Cougars to run time off the clock, was caught off guard when Ryan Kolb hit speedster Nick Johnson in stride down the sideline for about a 50 yard touchdown pass.
The extra point was blocked putting the score at 34-27 in favor of the Cougars. Strasburg took over at their 35 yard line and let White continue his assault on the Cougar defense. Nine plays later, all rushes by White, the Rams punched it in and scored the two point conversion to put them up by one with 46 seconds left in the game. The Rams then recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock for a hard fought Bull Run District win and remain undefeated.
The Cougars fall to 4-3 overall and play Clarke County next week.