Bottled up

Jeff Stead/PrepsKC

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: August 31, 2018 - 10:58 PM

This was the bounce back that Rockhurst was looking for in its second game of the season.

And bounce back the Hawklets did. Rockhurst dominated the line of scrimmage rolling past Blue Springs 17-0.

It was a big change from a week earlier when Rockhurst was run all over by Columbia Rock Bridge in a season-opening loss.

“The Rock Bridge game in Week 1 the kid put up close to 300 yards rushing,” Rockhurst defensive back Josh Moore said. “Our key tonight was to stop (Blue Springs running back) Aveion Bailey. We knew they couldn’t throw the ball on us, so that was our purpose, to stop the run and that’s what we did.”

Rockhurst defensively kept the normally potent Wildcat offense out of sync all night, holding them to just 44 yards in the first half. Bailey, who ran for 194 yards in Blue Springs’ season opening victory was held to less than a quarter of that.

The Hawklets, who led 7-0 at the half on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Coit from Luke Boehm, did the majority of their damage in the third quarter.

“Coach Sev always says coming out to start the third quarter is the most important drive of the whole game,” Moore said. “And we set the tone with a kickoff to the 3 and a three and out. It was just great.”

Rockhurst scored their final 10 points in the third quarter on a 27-yard field goal from Owen Lawson and then converted on a fourth-and-two that turned into a 15-yard score from Michael Johnson.

“In the position we were in, I didn’t think it was risky,” Rockhurst head coach Tony Severino said of the decision to go for it. “If we’d have done it in the first half when it was fourth and inches, then it would have been risky.”

It paid off and the Hawklet defense stood. On Blue Springs’ one legitimate scoring threat, Moore recovered a fumble in Rockhurst territory that ended any real comeback hopes.

“Once in a while you have a game like this where nothing clicks at all,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said. “We were behind the chains just all night long. It was so frustrating.”

Rockhurst avoided what would have been its first 0-2 start since 1978, so perhaps it simply was a game the Hawklets just weren’t going to lose.

“We’ve seen this before when they’ve come off a loss. They bounce back and play really well,” Donohoe said. “Testimony to their staff and their kids.”