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Greetings from The Booth!
I was going to rant about the Washington Commanders (again) after another embarrasing loss Sunday against the woeful Giants. What can I say? It’s therapeutic. But I couldn’t do it. Instead, I chose to write about football in it’s purest form…
In high school football, the finality of a playoff loss is palpable. For many seniors, it’s the last time they will put on a uniform. There will be no college football or the NFL. When the clock hits zero, it will be the last organized football they will ever play. That reality hits even harder when the loss comes in heartbreaking fashion. There will be no tomorrow.
Heartbreak for the Strasburg Rams came in the form of an 8-7 loss this past Friday in the VHSL Region 2B Semifinals to undefeated Woodstock Central. The 12-0 Falcons have been a team on a mission since losing the State Championship game lst December and have been laser focused in their quest to return to Salem. A little over 2 weeks ago, Central took down Strasburg 28-7 in the season finale, in the process winning the Bull Run District title. And, it was Central that celebrated a regional championship on the Rams’ field last year, a memory that festered in the minds of the Strasburg players, coaches, and fans. For the Rams, Friday’s game was a chance to return the favor in Woodstock.
Strasburg scored the first points of the game on a defensive “scoop and score,” and for the better part of the game, the 7-0 score held up, as the Rams’ stingy defense had all the answers for the vaunted Central running attack. As the game wore on into the final period, that 7-0 score felt more like 14-0. In reality, because Strasburg missed out on several chances to extend the lead and close the deal, Central was just one play away from tying the score.
Great teams aren’t great all the time–just when they have to be. With their undefeated season and dreams of a state title on the line, the Falcons marched 70 yards on their final drive, pulling to within 7-6 on Tyler Forbes’ short TD blast with 1:16 left. Coach Mike Yew then decided to roll the dice and go for 2. Knowing that Strasburg’s defensive ends would be crashing down on Forbes, Yew ordered a QB keeper around the right end, and Nick Barahona delivered, diving in for the game-winning conversion.
As elated as the Falcons and their fans were, the Strasburg players were equally deflated. The Rams left everything on the field, and it wasn’t quite good enough. They did not deserve to lose, but as the saying goes, someone has to. For those Central players who made it all the way to Salem last year, only to fall just short of a state championship, they know all too well the feeling of having the season end in disappointment.
For Central, it’s on to another regional championship game. For Strasburg, it’s on to a winter of “what might have been.”
Until the next visit from The Booth…have a Happy Thanksgiving!
We’re down to one area football team left in the VHSL playoffs, as the Woodstock Central Falcons will play this Saturday (12-3) in a state semifinal game against Poquoson. The R-Dog and The Duke break it all down, looking back at Friday’s area playoff games, and look ahead to Saturday’s matchup. Plus our final Power Five and last week’s Player Of The Week. Enjoy…and GO FALCONS!
It’s late November, and only 3 area teams are left standing after last weekend’s VHSL Regional Football Semifinal round. Whose season will end this weekend and who will hoist a Regional trophy? The R-Dog and Duke break it down for you in this week’s HS Football Podcast. Plus our Power Five, and Player Of The Week Honors…