JEFFERSON CITY — As the Hickman offense drove down the field during their first possession in Friday night's 59-14 loss to Jefferson City at Adkins Stadium, it seemed as if the all the inexplicable elements surrounding the game were coming together.
The tricks of Halloween night were on display with sophomore Spenser Washington's 32-yard halfback pass to sophomore Tyler Sprigg, and the often-equalizing factors of a rivalry game were in full force as two roughing the kicker penalties by the state-ranked Jays allowed the sub-.500 Kewpies to continue their march towards the end zone.
After two Kewpie penalties made it third and goal from 21, junior quarterback Matt Herman found Washington up the seam for a 22-yard touchdown with 7:30 with play in the first quarter to put the Kewpies up 7-0 . Hickman was not only taking advantage of the Jay mistakes, but they were overcoming their own. Something special was brewing.
But then Brad Allen was there to bring the Kewpies back to reality.
On the first play for Jefferson City, the senior quarterback faked a handoff, kept the ball and evaded Kewpie defenders for 80 yards all the way to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.
"We told the kids it was going to be a fist fight," Hickman defensive coordinator Arnel Monroe said. "We punched and they countered. We had to come back and keep answering."
Answering Allen's blows is what the Kewpies failed to do all night.
After a fumble and two incompletions by Herman, the Kewpies went three-and-out on their second series, and Allen had the ball again.
On the second play of the drive, Allen took it 32 yards into the Kewpie red zone and three plays later Aaron Terrill punched it in from 8 yards out to make the score 14-7 with 3:42 to play in the first quarter.
The Kewpies turned the ball over on two of their next three possessions, and the Jays capitalized.
After a Matt Herman fumble gave the back to the Jays, Jefferson City junior running back C.J. Vaughan took a pitch 29 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-7 with 2:35 left in the first quarter.
The Jays scored touchdowns on each of their six first half possessions, including a 78-yard scamper by Allen with 1:28 remaining in the second quarter to make it 42-14 going into the half.
After the break Allen's contributions were short-lived, but no less dynamic. Just over a minute into the second half Allen went 57 yards for another Jay touchdown and would add another 87 yard run on the first play of the Jays next drive.
Allen rushed for 401 yards on nine carries with five touchdowns and was 3-for-3 for 51 yards and a score through the air as well.
The 401 yards on the ground broke a school-record for single game rushing, but doing it against the Kewpies made it all the better.
"Ever since I was little I was watching Jeff City-Hickman games," Allen said. "This is the big rivalry and it's pretty awesome to break that record."
Despite the incredible numbers by Allen, Monroe knew that Allen was a special player capable of making the types of plays he made throughout the night.
"You make one mistake and he's gone," Monroe said. "That's the kind of caliber of kid that we've played all year."
With the loss sending the Kewpies home for the season, it was the performances of many of their younger players that were promising for the Hickman coaching staff.
Tyler Sprigg made several tough catches throughout the evening and hauled in a total of four catches for 67 yards, and junior Tyronne Armstrong rushed for 62 yards on 14 carries against a Jay rush defense that wasn't allowing much throughout the night. Herman was 19-for-37 with 184 yards, a touchdown and an interception and Washington added 91 total yards of offense.
"(Coach Jason Wright) talked to the young kids about taking the next step as far as getting better as a program and getting better as an individual player," Monroe said. "We're going to go back and look at some things in the offseason and try to get better."