Some dominant running backs use their skill and speed to put their stamp on a game. Others use their strength. Henderson (Nev.) Liberty High running back Niko Kapeli definitely falls in the second category, which he made clear with the touchdown run you see below in his team's 37-35 state quarterfinal victory against Henderson (Nev.) Foothill High.
Not only did Kapeli fully embrace his dump truck-like physique -- the junior stands 5-foot-10 and weighs in at a beefy 267 pounds -- to bowl over his defenders, he even appeared to go out of his way to put an extra stiff-arm on defenders he already had beaten.
What do you think the odds are that Kapeli will play fullback or on the offensive line at the next level? Prep Rally is willing to bet they're pretty good.
In fact, if you watch the touchdown clip again, it's likely that you'll struggle not to utter a series of "Go … go … go!" as Kapeli chugs along down the stretch. It's like watching a runaway 1920s freight train try to keep ahead of an Amtrak Acela chasing right behind it.
You get the idea. Either way, Kapeli's run -- punctuated by his fitting half-dive, half-roll into the end zone -- proved key in Liberty's narrow victory, helping the Patriots overcome an early 13-0 deficit. By game's end, Kapeli had gained 52 yards on 13 carries, with none more important than the 17-yard gallop you see above.
Kapeli and his crew couldn't power past nationally ranked Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman in the state semifinals, but that hardly dimmed a memorable touchdown run in which Kapeli didn't need any blockers, because he was going to make sure he would run over anything in his way by himself.
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