Robinson running back Lucas Caparelli has been trying not to get caught up in the buzz surrounding the Rams' game tonight against top-ranked Good Counsel. Although it's not every day two of the top public and private programs meet, the Rams running back does not want to get consumed thinking about the Falcons.
"You always get excited for any game," Caparelli said. "There has been little bit of hype. We're just eager to go out there and play the game."
Instead, Caparelli is simply looking forward to maneuvering his 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame downfield. The knack for scoring is something from which Caparelli and the fourth-ranked Rams have gained quite a bit of attention.
In its season opener against Fairfax last week, the defending Northern Region champions cruised to a 61-0 victory. Caparelli rushed for three touchdowns, caught two more and returned a punt 75 yards for another. In helping lead the Rams to the Division 6 state title game last season, Caparelli rushed for 1,857 yards on 215 carries and 25 touchdowns.
Of course, the Rams had an experienced offensive line in front of Caparelli -- a big reason they finished 13-1. This season, that line relatively is relatively new, and although senior quarterback Matt Goff is back under center, tonight will be something of a baptism.
Good Counsel, coming off a 31-14 win over Mount St. Joseph in its opener last week, has an experienced defense, anchored by senior linebacker Akeem Hebron. Hebron was the team's leading tackler last season and has already made an oral commitment to Georgia. He is joined by senior defensive end Drew Gloster (being heavily recruited at wide receiver for his speed and quickness) and senior defensive backs Tyrell Jones and Anthony Davis.
Falcons Coach Bob Milloy raved about Gloster's play last week. He not only knocked down two passes, but returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Falcons a 24-14 lead. He also caught two passes for 38 yards.
"He played very well, and was our top guy in the game," Milloy said.
The Falcons will be without senior defensive end Teddy Hall, who will miss the game with a sprained knee. He will be replaced by sophomore Cory Boatman (6-1, 236).
Much has been made of the matchup between the Wheaton-based private school and Robinson, among the largest public schools in Northern Virginia. Tight conference schedules often make these types of game rare. But with a realignment in the Northern Region, Robinson had an open date, and Good Counsel answered the call.
"We're prepared," Caparelli said. "They're a talented team with good players. We've got to go out there and play. It's a matter of going out between the lines and giving it everything that we've got."