Heading into the season, the Rockhurst coaching staff said its defense might be its strength. On Friday, that thought came to fruition.
The Hawklets held off Lee’s Summit North 7-0 to win their Missouri Class 6 District 4 opener.
Rockhurst’s first shutout of the season couldn’t have come at a better time.
The Hawklets kept the electric Bronco offense at bay all night, while making their own offensive plays when they had to.
“The kids were very resilient,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. “We told them all week we couldn’t give (North) the big play. We felt if we made them drive the length of the field, we would have a chance.”
That’s exactly what Rockhurst was able to do. Lee’s Summit North put together just two drives that reached the Hawklet red zone. The first came on a 40-yard run from a fake punt. The other came on a long drive that ended on a missed 36-yard field goal. The Broncos’ only other trip deep into Rockhurst territory was thwarted by an interception from Chris Castrop.
“We just didn’t make the plays, plain and simple,” Lee’s Summit North coach Jamar Mozee said. “We missed a couple passes and dropped one, we just didn’t make the plays.”
Meanwhile, the Hawklet offense made the plays when it needed to. And when it came time to make the crucial plays, Severino turned to quarterback Derek Green to run the option.
In the game’s lone score, Green made the read to hand the ball off to fullback Matt O’Keefe who rumbled in for a two-yard score.
Just as importantly for the Hawklet offense was the drive that salted away the clock and preserved the victory.
With 3:16 left in the game, Rockhurst faced a third-and-18 after a holding penalty wiped away a first down.
After Green found Brady McCanles for a 17-yard gain, Rockhurst went for it on fourth down.
Facing giving the ball back to North near midfield, Green knew there was a chance he wouldn’t hand off on the veer this time.
“We ran a read, we ran it a lot during the game and their ends kept coming up field so I kept giving it to the fullback,” he said. “The one prior to the fourth-and-one (the defensive end) cracked down on the fullback so I knew there was a chance he would do that. I saw him go down and it was just green grass in front of me.”
The result was an 11-yard gain for Green and a trip to the district semifinals for the Hawklets.
They’ll travel to top-seeded Lee’s Summit West, who held on to win in double overtime against Raymore-Peculiar.
GRANDVIEW 27, VAN HORN 7: Van Horn won just one game last season.
The Falcons had four headed into Friday’s Class 4 District 6 opener and will finish the season with that after a loss to host Grandview.
Terrion Seddens rushed for 96 yards and the Falcons’ lone touchdown on 16 carries as they finished the season at 4-6. Izaiah Cosey ran for 94 yards on 23 carries and had two interceptions and 13 tackles on defense.
The Falcons kept it close early. After Grandview scored the opening touchdown, Seddens capped off a drive with a 1-yard plunge to tie it at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter.
Grandview scored again at the 10:06 mark of the second quarter and took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs, who outgained the Falcons 495 to 167 yards, added a touchdown in each of the third and fourth quarters to pull away.