FLORISSANT – The Rock Bridge football team changed its routine for Saturday’s game. And it might have given the Bruins a tremendous advantage over McCluer North.
The Bruins usually eat breakfast at home before meeting at school around 6:45 a.m. for the bus trip to away games. They would also eat a snack once getting to the stadium, but sometimes felt they lost energy toward the end of games.
The Bruins met up at school again on Saturday but made a stop at Cracker Barrel for a breakfast of pancakes, bacon and eggs with a snack of peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches with bananas once arriving to McCluer North’s field.
That helped fuel the Bruins' 35-14 win over the Stars, who had several players leave the game because of leg cramps.
“Their cramping definitely helped us a little,” coach A.J. Ofodile said. “We changed up our whole Saturday routine. It was crucial to offset some of the demons we had on Saturdays.”
Bruins running back Trey Millard helped. He rushed for three touchdowns, one each in the first, third and fourth quarters, compiling 210 yards on 24 carries.
His first-quarter touchdown also helped. The Bruins (2-1) hadn’t scored in the first quarter since 2007, when Millard ran for a touchdown against Blue Springs late in the season.
“What’s the most important number (from Saturday’s game)?,” Ofodile said while pointing to a box score with “7” in the first quarter for the Bruins. “That one. It let our defense play with a lead. It’s big to get on the board in the first quarter. We played in a hole for a long, long time.”
Rock Bridge wide receiver Sheldon Gerau caught two touchdowns in the second quarter, which gave the Bruins a 20-7 lead going into halftime. The Stars brought the score to 20-14 with a 65-yard passing touchdown seven seconds into the second half but didn’t score again.
The Bruins defense limited the Stars to 204 total yards on offense.
Bruins quarterback Mark Pickerel finished 15-for-24 with 191 passing yards. Gerau accounted for 96 of those on six catches.
The Bruins rushed 43 times for 273 yards. Pickerel was second behind Millard with 50 yards on the ground.
The Bruins’ second win of the season matches their win total from the past two seasons combined. It’s something Ofodile hopes will boost his team.
“I think it’s real big to do that,” he said. “It’s showing we can do that against a pretty good team in a tough environment. This is a way to say something is different about this team.”
The Jefferson City Jays visit Rock Bridge at 7 p.m. Friday.