When Rockhurst fullback Chuck Ingram plunged into the end zone for a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third period, the Hawklet student section started a chant.
“It’s too easy!” followed by claps. “It’s too easy!”
While it likely wasn’t easy, Rockhurst made it look that way as its defense dominated Blue Springs South by holding the Jaguars to 72 yards on 48 plays. That’s the type of defense the Hawklets have been known for in recent years and that showed in a 35-0 victory at Dasta Stadium.
“We’ve been playing defense like that all year,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. “We always build our program on defense. If we can keep playing defense, we’ll have a chance to be successful.”
South never entered Rockhurst’s red zone and didn’t get a first down until one of its receivers drew a pass interference call with about eight minutes left in the second half.
For the Jaguars, M.J. Overstreet led the offense with 31 yards on 10 carries. Quarterback Max Conard had a rough day, completing 7 of 22 passes for 37 yards and two interceptions.
The key was the pressure the Hawklets applied on Conard. They dominated up front and pressured the South senior on a consistent basis.
“Their front seven are outstanding,” South coach Matt Klein said of Rockhurst. “They are so good up front and it takes you out of a lot of stuff you want to do.”
On defense, the Jaguars (0-4) played well in spurts and held Rockhurst scoreless on its first three drives. On the third possession, senior Brayden Turner sacked Rockhurst quarterback Nick Smrt and Rex Regier recovered the fumble at the Hawklet 22. However, South couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity as a holding penalty derailed the drive.
“We had a little bit of momentum there,” Klein said. “We had a chance to punch it in and we couldn’t capitalize. When you get a turnover against a good team like that, you better jump on them. We just didn’t do it.”
Rockhurst countered with a 15-play, 80-yard drive capped by running back Joe Leggio’s 1-yard TD run eight seconds into the second quarter.
That drive jump-started the offense for Rockhurst as Max Williams scored on a 3-yard run, Wilson Selzer scored on a 2-yard plunge and Smrt scored on a 2-yard QB sneak to make it 28-0 at halftime.
“We came alive in the second quarter. It took us awhile,” Severino said. “That’s the way we’ve started every game. As long as we are playing great defense, we can struggle a little offensively.”
Williams led Rockhurst with 63 yards on eight carries and Leggio added 61 yards on 11 carries. Smrt completed 6 of 14 passes for 70 yards.