Let's do this again

Nick Smith/PrepsKC

By Sean Kosednar PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 28, 2018 - 10:47 PM

Complete Stats and Box Score

With massive tailgate parties, pre-sold tickets, pre-game fireworks, and a sideline crowd that resembled a USC game, it would have been easy to mistake the Rockhurst Bishop Miege matchup Friday Sept. 28 for a college game.

The two schools haven’t played in more than 30 years and crowds started filing Dixon Doll stadium two hours early to be sure not to miss a second of the action. It would be hard for the action to live up to the hype. Rockhurst escaped with a 14-13 win in a game that won’t soon be forgotten.

“This one lived up to the hype,” Rockhurst head coach Tony Severino said. “We beat a good football team. We are a good football team. It comes down to a one-point game. If this were a playoff game, it would have been absolutely perfect.”

The result of the game may have been perfect, but the beginning was anything but. The teams traded punts on the first five possessions. The only way either team moved the ball was through penalties. Uncharacteristically each had multiple personal foul penalties, and the game was marred by flags all night.

Finally, near the end of the first quarter things start to go right for the Rockhurst offense. The Hawklets drive 90 yards in nearly eight minutes before facing a fourth and goal from the one-yard line. There was never a doubt Severino’s team would go for it. Senior running back Michael Johnson got the ball and scored easily.

Then the turnovers started.

Three of the last four drives in the first half ended with turnovers.

“Our goal every game is to get three turnovers,” Rockhurst senior Andrew Stafford said. “We are always looking to make plays on defense and tonight we happened to get a couple.”

Stafford would be involved on the offense side of the ball as well. He finished off the Hawklets’ opening drive of the second half with a 27-yard touchdown reception.

“They called a corner route and I saw the ball go up,” Stafford said, “I like going up and catching the ball over guys. When I came down I didn’t even realize I was in the end zone until I looked down.”

After moving his team 60 yards down the field to open the second half, senior quarterback Luke Boehm dropped back and looked down the right sideline. Two Stag defenders were closing in on Stafford leaving a small window in which to fit the pass.

“I thought the corner was sinking, and saw the safety coming over as well,” Boehm said. “I dropped the ball in the perfect and spot and Andrew [Stafford] made a hell of a catch. One hell of a catch.”

After it all was said and done the main talking point will be the fake point after attempt by Bishop Miege. The Stags high powered offense struggled to move the ball all game.

“[Rockhurst] are a tremendous defense. That was the first struggle,” Miege head coach Jon Holmes said. “We had some injuries, and turnovers. We talked about not being able to turn the ball over and we did that tonight.”

Despite that Bishop Miege had a chance to tie the game with six minutes left in the game. Hudson Bentley had just made his own acrobatic catch over two defenders to pull the Stags within one.

“That’s a play we like,” Holmes said. “Sam [Pedrotti] usually does a good job with it. He just got tripped up a little. If he doesn’t get tripped it’s a whole different story.”

Rockhurst was fortunate the play went like it did, as the Hawklets were shorthanded at the crucial moment.

“We only had nine [players] on the field,” Severino said. “I thought about calling timeout, but I thought they would kick it. I never thought they would fake it. It almost backfired.”

The Hawklets travel to Columbia, MO to take on Battle High School Friday Oct. 5, and Bishop Miege face the Blue Valley Tigers.