Extra Points: Brian Spano 9/2
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Staff Writer
Kevin Berg had the kind of game every defensive player dreams of. I guess you could say every defensive back dreams of. The only thing that might have made his night even more special was if he had scored a touchdown. Instead, the junior defensive back from Rockhurst High School prevented not one, but two scores on his own by intercepting two passes in the red zone and helping his team defeat Blue Springs last Friday night 7-6.
Everyone knows how huge the Rockhurst-Blue Springs game is every year. This one was no exception.
The thing is, Berg’s game may not have happened if he hadn’t been beaten on a second-quarter fade route touchdown pass when Blue Springs quarterback Kyle Brown hit Jordan Nubine for the 13-yard score. And what’s even more amazing, the Wildcats ran the same route on the previous play, and Berg broke it up.
“I was really upset after that touchdown,” Berg said, “But when I came over to the sidelines, the coaches told me to shrug it off.”
And shrug it off he did. Blue Springs’ next drive started at its own three-yard line, and the offense was motoring behind one of the best running backs in the state, if not the city. Darrian Miller carried the load for much of that second-quarter drive, but Berg had other thoughts in mind.
“They started throwing to Nubine, and I knew they were picking on me a little bit,” Berg made note of the Wildcats’ offense.
Well, they may have picked on him one too many times. Brown zipped a pass downfield, and Berg saw it. Not like the deer in the headlights saw it, but more like a predator honed in on its prey saw it. Berg came down with it at the 15-yard line halting an 82-yard Blue Springs drive that at the very least could have resulted in a field goal.
Oh, but it wasn’t going to be the last time we would hear from Berg.
Rockhurst scored with 6:22 remaining in the third quarter to go up 7-6. Little did anyone know that this was going to be it for the scoring.
On the drive that followed the Hawklets touchdown, Blue Springs set up shop at its own 15-yard line. Again, they rode the back…er legs of Miller.
But this time, it was Miller that would make the mistake. Blue Springs marched all the way to the Rockhurst 14-yard line and decided to pull an early-season trick out of its bag.
Miller took the pitch from Brown, rolled to his right and lofted a spiral toward the goal line. Berg, not fooled for a second, followed Miller from his position in the backfield, stepped in front of the intended receiver and caught the ball at the three-yard line, thereby averting the go-ahead score.
“On the halfback pass, I just read it really well,” Berg said. “I’ve never had a game like this. It was great to help out and preserve the lead and the win.”
It was all Rockhurst needed to break the Wildcats’ momentum and create a little of its own.
“I guess you could say he went from the doghouse to the penthouse in the same game,” Rockhurst head coach Tony Severino said with a grin of Berg’s performance.
So, Berg learned the valuable lesson to always forget the previous play, a bigger one might still be in the offing.
Brian Spano is a staff writer for PrepsKC.
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