All the progress Blue Springs South had made over the last two games following a rough start – the second half against Blue Springs and last week’s win at Raymore-Peculiar – came to a grinding halt in the first half Friday against Rockhurst.
The Hawklets, particularly quarterback T.J. Green, blitzed the Jaguars defense in the first half, and the second half of their 42-0 victory at South at Larry Stewart Memorial Stadium went on with a running clock.
“Our goal is to be playing our best at the end of the season, and I don’t feel like we took any steps forward tonight,” South coach Greg Oder said after his team fell to 1-4. “I don’t know; I’ll have to see (the film).”
The film will show that South nearly had a turnover on the game’s first snap, which Green fumbled before the Rockhurst line wrestled it away from South linebacker Adam Cofield. On the next play Green went up top to Lance Boehm for a 41-yard pass. Four plays later Green connected again with Boehm for a 25-yard touchdown.
After the Jaguars punted Green capped a seven-play drive with a 20-yard scoring strike to Will Bazzle. The second quarter opened with Rockhurst (4-1) linebacker Patrick Thomas intercepting Cale Connors, and on the next play Kiah Kintchen went untouched up the middle for a 44-yard TD run and a 21-0 lead.
“We have a way of starting like that, and the kids are resilient when they don’t,” longtime Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. “I felt really good about our defense, but I know (the Jaguars) have had some injuries.
“They will be better. We’re not as good as the score indicated, and they’re not as bad as it indicated. I think the schedule we’ve played has really toughened our kids up, but we’ll see about that next week (against Blue Springs).”
Also before halftime, Bazzle wheeled and turned a 15-yard catch into a 38-yard touchdown, and Green also lofted a 45-yard score to Bazzle. Meanwhile, South didn’t take a snap past its own 42 in the first half.
“They fumbled early and we didn’t get it, and we couldn’t really get anything going on offense,” Oder said. “Our field position wasn’t really good. Incle had the interception and big return, but we just couldn’t get it done.”
Keeyon Incle returned a third-quarter pick of Green 69 yards to the Rockhurst 24, but South turned it back over on downs. After Rockhurst backup QB Chance May sneaked 2 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, South drove to the Rockhurst 10 before two last-minute passes into the end zone fell incomplete.
The Hawklets made things difficult for Connors (1-of-6 passing, 2 interceptions) and fellow quarterback Noah Nigro (6 of 10, 86 yards), and Cofield finished with 52 yards on 15 carries.
Kintchen had 68 yards on 10 carries, and Green, the son of former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, added 31 yards on five carries and finished 8-of-19 passing for 191 yards. The interception was his only second-half attempt.
“We didn’t cover very well,” Oder said. “(Green) is very hard to handle. He’s a great player, has got a really good arm, which we knew going in, and he was on tonight.”