Not many events would compel nearly 4,500 to plod through Beltway traffic at rush hour, especially to go from Fairfax to Wheaton for a high school football game. But this wasn't just any high school game -- it was a rare public-vs.-private clash between a pair of top 10 teams -- and for those making the trek from Virginia to support No. 4 Robinson at No. 1 Good Counsel, it was more than worth the trip.
The Rams (2-0) used a punishing ground game and a big-play defense to hand the Falcons their first loss, 21-6. The rushing totals spoke volumes as to how the Rams controlled the game, as they out-gained Good Counsel 217-72 on the ground.
Robinson built a 15-0 first-half lead behind senior running back Lucas Caparelli (18 carries, 119 yards and a touchdown) and senior quarterback Matt Goff (who had a 26-yard touchdown run to cap a 78-yard drive), then handed the game to its defense in the second half. The Falcons mounted two substantial drives in the second half, one on their opening possession of the third quarter that resulted in their only points, and another in the closing minutes that Robinson snuffed out with the second of two critical turnovers.
Down 21-6, Good Counsel drove inside the Rams 10. But junior defensive back Sean Boniface corralled an interception at the 1 to stymie the Falcons and seal the win.
The interception had Robinson fans chanting "Overrated! Overrated!" as stunned Good Counsel fans could only watch.
"It's exciting," said Robinson senior linebacker Jack Curtis. "We talked a lot about this being just another game. But you couldn't ignore all the people. It was always there in the back of your mind."
The Falcons came out strong after intermission with a 63-yard, six-play drive capped by senior quarterback Tyrell Jones's touchdown pass to junior tight end Collin Stevens on fourth and three from the Robinson 17.
Curtis accounted for the other Good Counsel turnover when he pounced on a fumble at the Good Counsel 25. Five plays later, senior Kevin Campbell rumbled into the end zone for a two-yard score and a 21-6 lead with 9 minutes 43 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
"We were not very good offensively," Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. "We made some embarrassing mistakes. We played them fairly tough. I think we'll get better. But that's a very good team. I'd be interested in seeing if anybody [in Virginia] can beat them."