COLUMBIA — When the Rock Bridge Bruins saw Liberty quarterback Kevin VanEgdom throw laterally to receiver Marcus Lucas, the Rock Bridge defense read the screen play and swarmed to the ball in an effort to bring down the versatile 6’5” receiver. The only problem – Lucas wasn’t just out there to catch a pass.
On a night when VanEgdom threw for over 200 yards in Liberty’s 35-20 victory, it was Lucas who made the biggest throws of the night with two touchdown passes, both to tight end Bryan Adams.
“It was great play design,” Rock Bridge head coach A.J. Ofodile said after the game. “(They) put the ball in a guy’s hands who can score from anywhere. Our kids are conscious of him, and we’re trying to do anything we can to get him on the ground.”
After surviving a 14-0 first quarter deficit, the Blue Jays outscored the Bruins 35 to 6 during the rest of the game. The first of Lucas’ touchdown passes came just before halftime, giving Liberty a 21-20 lead at the break. He delivered his next strike early In the third quarter to push Liberty’s lead to eight, and the Blue Jays never looked back.
“We were in a zero coverage, so it was man-to-man and then safeties over the top,” Rock Bridge senior linebacker Jason Carmichael said. “It was kind of like, ‘Oh man, they scored, now it’s pretty close again.’ But in no way were we thinking it was over right then”
The Blue Jays didn’t try the wide receiver pass play a third time, but with a two-score lead, they didn’t need to take the risk.
“It’s not something we prepare for,” Ofodile said. “But at the same time when you have somebody other than the quarterback throwing the ball, there’s a risk factor there.”
Although the trick play with Lucas fooled the Bruins on Friday, Ofodile believes it’s not something they’re going to see again.
“I’m not about to say we’re going to see an onslaught of 30 double-passes a game. We don’t expect teams to think it’s the secret to beating Rock Bridge. I think they’ll run what they run.”
The Bruins will have to wait and see what Blue Springs South has in store for them when the two teams play next Friday.