Rockhurst pushes past Raymore-Peculiar

By Dave McQueen PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 8, 2018 - 6:08 AM

Rockhurst wasn’t about to let a little wind and rain unbalance its offense Friday night.

On a damp night more suited to keeping the ball on the ground than putting it in the air, Rockhurst did both effectively, especially in the first half of its 31-10 victory over Raymore-Peculiar at Ray-Pec.

Which is exactly what Hawklets coach Tony Severino thought his 2-1 team could do.

“We came in figuring we had to throw the ball to get them,” Severino said. “They were obviously expecting us to run, so we had to go over the top with it.

Rockhurst finished with 379 total yards, 224 on the ground and 155 through the air. Quarterback Luke Boehm threw for those 155 yards and a touchdown, while running back Michael Johnson finished with 115 yards on 14 carries and two TDs.

Johnson racked up most of his yards and both of his TDs in the second half, when what had been a light drizzle most of the game turned into heavier showers. The conditions made him more slippery, and he slipped through more Ray-Pec tacklers on his way to both scores.

“At first we came out a little shaky, and after a while we got the hang of it,” Johnson said. “And we started to be able to pound the rock.”

Rockhurst came out throwing, and Boehm needed only five plays to cover 80 yards on the Hawklets’ first drive, which ended with senior Joseph Coit running 30 yards on a sweep for a 7-0 lead.

Ray-Pec (2-1) responded with a 15-play 80-yard drive and tied the game with 7-yard run by running back Brandon Ramos. Ramos finished with 110 yards on 14 carries, 58 of them on one carry late in the game.

But that would be Ray-Pec’s only sustained drive and touchdown. The Panthers drove into Hawklet territory three more times, but they couldn’t get any momentum despite quarterback Grant Miller also finding success through the air. Miller threw for 128 yards, 71 of them to wide receiver Je’von Williams.

Rockhurst stretched its lead to 17-7 when Boehm connected with Andrew Stafford for a 41-yard TD pass and Owen Lawson kicked a 45-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the second quarter.

Ray-Pec got the ball first in the second half, and the Panthers looked ready to get back in the game when they drove to the Rockhurst 41.

But when the Panthers couldn’t convert on fourth and one at the 40, Rockhurst took over and promptly marched downfield to set up Johnson’s first TD on a 7-yard run for a 24-7 lead.

“We just made way too many mistakes,” Ray-Pec coach Tom Kruse said. “And against a good team like Rockhurst you can’t do that. We were hoping to get some momentum going but then they broke off a big run and that took the wind out of our sails.”

A 36-yard field goal by Gabe Sappington pulled Ray-Pec back within 24-10 in the third quarter, but Rockhurst put it away with a 10-play, 65-yard march that Johnson ended with a 3-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter.

Ray-Pec, which has already matched its win total from last season, will look to rebound next week against longtime Cass County rival Belton. Rockhurst will travel to winless Blue Springs South.

And if the weather is rainy again next week, Severino know his team will be able to handle it. Or ignore it.

“The rain never was a factor,” Severino said. “We never really even noticed it, to be honest with you.”