Robinson toughs out a big win over No. 5 Lake Braddock, 10-7

Robinson used suffocating defense and a big game by running back Jared Velasquez to edge Lake Braddock 10-7.
By Paul Tenorio
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 2, 2010; 1:09 AM

Robinson running back Jared Velasquez sat up in the end zone and, for a moment, looked as if he didn't quite know where he was. Then he raised both hands to signal what the rest of the crowd already knew: touchdown.

The senior had just capped a dominant 16-play, 80-yard drive with a four-yard score. Velasquez carried 10 times on the march, which took up nearly the first nine minutes of the third quarter, and as he ran toward the sideline Friday night in Burke with his face mask bent upward there was perhaps no better symbolism for the play, player or the program.

Behind Velasquez's hard-nosed running, the blue-collar style of Robinson (4-1) outdueled the high-powered offense of No. 5 Lake Braddock, 10-7 .

"Just knew what we had to do," said an emotional Velasquez, who was in tears after the game. "We just came out here and said, 'Look, this is our game, our field right here. Offense getting the ball first, we got to score, we got this."

Velasquez finished with 138 yards rushing on 35 carries. Robinson looked to Velasquez on 21 of its 34 second-half plays.

Robinson cornerback Thomas Petrocci intercepted Connecticut-bound quarterback Michael Nebrich twice, including a key pick just two plays after Velasquez's touchdown to maintain the Rams' momentum.

"I just cut him," Petrocci said. "Had good footwork and just broke on the ball."

Petrocci's first interception set up a 32-yard field goal that may, or may not, have gone in - depending on the angle you were watching.

Garrick LaBriola's 32-yard kick with 11 minutes 47 seconds remaining in the game hit one of the two crossbars on the Lake Braddock upright. Both Lake Braddock Coach Jim Poythress and Robinson Coach Mark Bendorf felt it hit the top bar and slipped through, making it good.

Joked Bendorf: LaBriola had a range of 32 yards "and two inches."

The kick provided the difference in a game that was dominated by the Rams' stifling defense.

Nebrich was limited to just 11 completions and 129 yards on 24 attempts with two interceptions. He has proven himself nearly as adept with his feet, and Friday he accounted for the Bruins' only points with a 40-yard scramble on fourth and three, giving Lake Braddock a 7-0 first-half lead.

The second half, however, belonged to Robinson.

"This is for everyone that came before us," Velasquez said. "The team last year, how they felt in the game that ended our season [a 38-7 playoff loss to Lake Braddock], this is for them, this is all for them."

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