COLUMBIA — Rock Bridge football quarterback Mark Pickerel didn't believe he did enough to lead his team into the Bruins game against Helias on Friday.
After a loss last week to No. 1 ranked Rockhurst from Kansas City, the Bruins looked forward to a win against the Crusaders.
"We didn't go as hard as we could have in practice, we took a little too much off and kind of took this week really too lightly. We got away from fundamental football, and that's kind of what killed us tonight," Pickerel said.
The Bruins (3-3), who went into the second half with a 21-14 lead over the Crusaders (3-3), were unable to maintain their offensive momentum going into the second half. Helias quarterback Zach Rockers ran in a touchdown in the fourth quarter after the Crusaders took over on downs at the Bruins 30-yard line to tie the game at 21. They took the lead on a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, making the score 28-21.
"We kind of kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Pickerel said. The offensive line struggled in the fourth quarter, ultimately leading to the Bruins loss.
Coach A.J. Ofodile recognized the strength of the Helias team coming into the game. The Crusaders have beaten the Bruins the past three years. "They executed their game plan better than we did," Ofodile said.
Despite the loss, the Bruins plan to prepare for Francis Howell, who they will face next week. Their coach is positive that they will return to strong competition. "If you allow any of these games to devastate you, it's kind of a big mistake," he said.
The Bruins' past records and accomplishments have reminded their coach of their ability to succeed in district competition later in the season. The team had a record of 4-3 both years that they won district titles. "We've learned the hard way and we've learned the positive way that these games, from a tangible standpoint, don't mean much."
The Bruins will play Francis Howell in at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 in St. Charles.