The Robinson Rams handily beat the Chantilly Chargers and continued their undefeated streak September 17 during their first full-crowd home football game since fall 2019, handing the Chargers their first loss of the season. The score was 48-20.
Robinson and Chantilly fans packed the stands just before kickoff at 7 pm, with students sporting Hawaiian and neon color themes, respectively. Robinson took the lead with a touchdown and successful extra point in the first quarter. The Chargers offense quickly suffered a setback after losing their starting quarterback, senior Jack Griese. Junior Ethan Ross promptly filled in and was fast on his feet early in the game, ducking and weaving through a Robinson blitz for a 46-yard run.
Chantilly was eventually able to reach the endzone, which resulted in a Chargers touchdown just after a minute had elapsed in the second quarter. A failed extra-point attempt then placed the Chargers behind, where they remained the rest of the game. With the score at 7-6 in their favor, the Rams set the tone with an 80-yard touchdown run in their first set of downs following the Chargers touchdown. A successful extra point attempt then placed them in the lead 14-6.
A subsequent Chargers drive was fruitless, forcing Chantilly to punt the ball away. The Rams offense took control and remained dominant, resulting in gutsy calls like a successful first down conversion after being held to fourth down with five minutes remaining in the first half. Shortly thereafter, the Rams scored a touchdown with just under two minutes left. The Chargers were able to block the Rams’ extra point attempt, though that left the Rams with a 20-6 lead at halftime.
A rowdy Robinson student section sensed the game was theirs to lose, resulting in self-assured chants from the stands. It was an anticipated match since both teams were undefeated heading into the game, but Robinson students swiftly dismissed the challenge, breaking out into a chorus of “Overrated” chants midway through the second quarter. Later in the game, an announcer issued a brief message to students who were becoming unruly. “Administration reserves the right to remove you from the stadium for inappropriate behavior,” such as “throwing things,” the announcer warned.
Spirits were high among students, according to Robinson senior Noah Espinoza. “It feels great to be back. The energy is just insane,” Espinoza said. “It’s just the vibes. You can’t beat them,” he said when asked what he was most looking forward to about returning to big in-person events like Friday night football games. “I used to watch the games on live streams and it was terrible. I really wanted to be here,” he added. However, he was wary that a COVID outbreak could force students to go remote once again, at least temporarily. “Contact tracing in a school is hard,” he said.
As the Rams marching band performed during halftime, Robinson Student Activities Director Andrew Jimmo said it was a welcome return for Friday night lights after an extended series of away games for the football team. “We’ve been on the road for three games. It’s nice to have the kids back, our community, our fans. It’s a great atmosphere,” Jimmo said. “Having our athletics getting back into some kind of normalcy, as well as our extracurriculars, for me as the student activities director has been really exciting,” he added, reasoning that it was rewarding to see students be able to fully participate once again in activities they are passionate about.
After the Rams kicked off at the start of the second half, Chantilly was able to briefly narrow Robinson’s lead, scoring a touchdown for a score of 20-13. The Rams then bounced back, scoring a touchdown with just under four minutes in the quarter, bringing the score to 27-13. The following drive from the Chargers was unsuccessful, putting pressure on a beleaguered Chargers defense once again. Two consecutive defensive fouls then handed the Rams a free set of downs, which was followed by a 36-yard run for the Rams by senior Samuel Gerard. With just under 10 seconds left in the third quarter, the Rams scored another touchdown for a score of 34-13.
The Chargers became increasingly desperate to close the gap, throwing a deep pass for the first play of the fourth quarter that was easily intercepted by the Rams. Robinson pressed the advantage, quickly scoring another touchdown for a score of 41-13. With the fourth quarter winding down, the Chargers could barely hold off the Rams. Robinson ran the ball with little resistance, securing yet another touchdown for a score of 48-13 with five minutes remaining.
Determined to not go down without a fight, the Chargers slogged through their final drive to score a touchdown with just more than 30 seconds remaining, putting a dent in Robinson’s commanding lead for a final score of 48-20. Minutes earlier, however, Chantilly students seemed to accept an imminent defeat and cleared out, as Robinson students sent them off with a chant of “I believe that we will win!”
The scores of other teams who played this week are listed below.
Lake Braddock at North Stafford
The Lake Braddock Bruins narrowly defeated the North Stafford Wolverines for a final score of 20-19. It was North Stafford’s first loss of the season, making both teams 2-1.
Lewis at Mount Vernon
The Lewis Lancers lost in a rout to the Mount Vernon Majors. The final score was 42-0. The Lancers are 0-3 and the Majors are 2-2.
West Springfield at
The West Springfield Spartans prevailed against the Generals of Washington-Liberty. After a close first quarter, West Springfield pulled away for a final score of 34-14. West Springfield is 3-0 and Washington-Liberty is 0-4.
Westfield at South County
In a closely-watched matchup, the South County Stallions defeated the Westfield Bulldogs. The final score was 28-20. South County is 2-0 and Westfield is 2-2.
Manassas Park at Thomas Jefferson
The Jefferson Colonials triumphed over the Manassas Park Cougars to continue their winning streak for the season. The final score was 24-0. The Colonials are 3-0 and the Cougars are 0-3.
Meridian at Langley
The Meridian Mustangs bested the Langley Saxons 28-7. Meridian is 3-1 and Langley is 0-4.
Oakton at Yorktown
The Oakton Cougars maintained their strong start to the season, defeating the Yorktown Patriots 30-28. It is the first time since 2012 that the Cougars are 4-0. Yorktown is 2-2.
Falls Church at Woodson
The Woodson Cavaliers shut out the Fall Church Jaguars for a final score of 22-0, marking the first win for Woodson this season and a disappointing start for the Jaguars. Falls Church is now 0-4 and Woodson is 1-2.
Fairfax at McLean
The Fairfax Lions won a comfortable victory over the McLean Highlanders, boosted by a strong performance from Lions quarterback Jake Worthen. The final score was 49-24. The Lions are 3-0 and the Highlanders are 1-3.
Hayfield at Marshall
The Marshall Statesmen edged out the Hayfield Hawks in a close game that stretched into overtime. The final score was 35-34. The Statesmen are 3-1 and the Hawks are 1-3.
Edison at Annandale
The Edison Eagles notched their first win of the season against the Annandale Atoms. The final score was 28-7. Both teams are 1-3.
Herndon at Osbourn Park (Game played at Unity Reed)
The Herndon Hornets fell to the Osbourn Park Yellowjackets, who dealt the Hornets a stinging loss for a final score of 40-14. The teams played at Unity Reed High School. Herndon is 0-2 and Osbourn Park is 2-1.
Centreville at Wakefield
The Centreville Wildcats drubbed the Wakefield Warriors for a final score of 46-0. Centreville is 3-1 and Wakefield is 1-3.
Justice at Alexandria City
The Justice Wolves were defeated by the Alexandria City Titans, the first time that the Titans hosted a Friday night football game following the completion of stadium renovations and their school’s renaming from T.C. Williams. The final score was 34-7. The Titans are 3-0 and the Wolves are 1-3.
South Lakes, West Potomac and Madison had a bye week. South Lakes is 0-2, West Potomac is 2-1 and Madison is 2-1.