Rams Fumble in Season Opener


Alex Reynolds

The Rockville Rams opened their season against the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles Sept. 1 before school started.

Alex Reynolds, Online Editor

Turnovers plagued the young Rockville football team in their home opener, resulting in a 42-0 loss to the Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles Sept. 1.

Five turnoversa��including three interceptions by junior quarterback Cole Fairchilda��put the Rams at a steep disadvantage. These plays proved costly later in the game, providing the Screaming Eagles with momentum and field position.

When the team struggles with turnovers, the coaching staff looks to captains like offensive and defensive lineman Kevin Rogers to connect with the players and provide leadership.

“We have to remind them it’s a long game,” Rogers said. “They need to have a short term memory and move on.”

This year, there are only six returning players on varsity. Youth seems to be the biggest obstacle facing the team, but the coaching staff says they are confident in their players.

“We got a young team, most of these players were on JV last year, so a lot of unknowns, [but] we’re excited to see what happens,” offensive coordinator Jesse Rutter said.

We got a young team, most of these players were on JV last year, so a lot of unknowns, [but] we’re excited to see what happens.

— offensive coordinator Jesse Rutter

The Screaming Eagle’s option offense which featured three vertile athletes–quarterback Michael Kapneck, wide receiver Harold Dotson and running back Semaj Meannu–posed a significant challenge to the young defense. However, the Rams showed promise holding the Screaming Eagles to one touchdown in the first quarter.

“They were well coached [but] our coaches had us ready and we came out prepared,” junior linebacker David Edelman said.

After being stopped multiple times running the ball, the Screaming Eagles transitioned to a pass-first offense. At the end of the first quarter, Kapneck completed a 37-yard pass followed by a 7-yard touchdown completion to Dotson, giving them a 14-0 lead.

With 50 seconds left in the first half, the Screaming Eagles pulled off a trick play to cement their control over the game. Kapneck handed the ball off to a wide receiver who lateraled the ball to another receiver for a reverse who then threw a 61-yard pass to a wide open receiver in the end zone for a touchdown.

At halftime, the Screaming Eagles led 35-0, scoring one more touchdown in the third quarter, and winning the game 42-0.

Varsity football looks to rebound Sept. 8 at 7 p.m., when they battle the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons at Walter Johnson HS.