Staley outscores Kearney for rivalry win
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
Over the last four years, Staley and Kearney have played some one-sided contests during their short but fierce rivalry. So, it would only stand to reason that two teams with high-scoring offenses and struggling defenses, the same would occur Friday night.
Well, it didn’t.
The Falcons (5-2) squeaked one out at Kearney 35-30, having to overcome an early deficit, three third-quarter turnovers that involved problems between the center-quarterback exchange and poor special teams play.
“If you turn the ball over very much, it’s going to be your Achilles heel,” Staley head coach Fred Bouchard said. “The kicker about our turnovers, they almost never happen there. We had a couple of exchanges in there. It’s just one of those things. At the end of the day, they executed snaps late, got a few first downs and bled the clock down to nothing.”
Falcons’ quarterback Trent Hosick was his usual dominant self, racking up 154 yards on the ground and three touchdowns of eight, 30 and three yards, while sophomore running back Kahluna Bouchard added another 115 yards and two touchdown runs of 43 and seven yards.
Hosick, who was on crutches after the game because of an ankle injury, didn’t expect this game to be as close given the history of the series.
“We’re growing up, and it took few things to kind of mature through early on in the season,” Hosick said. “I wasn’t expecting a nail-biter tonight to be honest. I will tell you that before the game, I predicted we’d score 38 points, and we were three points, and it’s a credit to their team and Coach Jones. They kept fighting, and they play with a lot of pride at home. It was a fun game.”
The Bulldogs (4-3) jumped out to a quick 7-0 on the first drive of the game, when Cole Davis hooked up with Drew Goepferich for 32 yards on a gutsy fourth and nine play.
Staley scored late in the first quarter and early in the second, but missed the extra point after each touchdown. It could have proved costly if not for the two two-point conversions the Falcons converted on their next two touchdowns late in the second and early in the third quarter.
But then in the quarter, Staley turned the ball over on three different occasions, keeping Kearney in the contest.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs weren’t able to capitalize off those turnovers, but did manage to tally 10 points in the quarter, trailing just 28-24 heading into the final frame.
Brock Broughton, who finished the night with 197 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and one through the air, was Kearney’s go-to guy to make something happen.
“I thought our line was really clicking in the running game tonight, and I give it all to them,” Broughton said. “If they get me past the first level, I’m going to go. Sometimes that didn’t happen, but then you have to adjust and make your own moves and go. The line played a big part, but with the loss, it’s a hard one for sure.”
The final dagger came with Kahluna Bouchard scored on a seven-yard run with a little less than nine minutes to play. It put the Falcons up two scores at the time.
“I give all the credit to my o-line,” Kahluna said. Those are the guys that made me perform as good as I did. Without them, I can’t do anything, so all the credit is to them. All my runs, my touchdowns, it’s all their work. It’s not me.”
Kearney added another touchdown when Davis connected with Broughton with 5:27 to play, but the two-point conversion failed, and Hosick and the Staley offense was able to run out the clock to end the game.
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