Defense delivers in Rock Bridge football win over Hazelwood Central

Friday, September 9, 2011 | 10:58 p.m. CDT; updated 2:00 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 10, 2011
Rock Bridge High School senior linebacker Carl Bivens tackles Hazelwood Central quarterback Sean Wills as junior defensive end Nate Baldwin and junior linebacker Matt Bush follow close behind during a 40-3 Bruins win. The Rock Bridge defense excelled on Friday, forcing and recovering three fumbles, one which resulted in a touchdown.

COLUMBIA — Defense led the Rock Bridge football team Friday night against Hazelwood Central in a 40-3 home win.

The Bruins’ defensive effort gave the offense favorable field position throughout the game and lead to four rushing touchdowns, two of them from tailback Brad Troyer.

Although the offense did most of the scoring, the defense enabled the Bruins to have good field position throughout the game. The Bruins forced three fumbles, one of which sophomore linebacker Ross Alexander recovered in the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter. Matt Bush recovered the two other fumbles.

“We went out there and caused a lot of confusion, forced some fumbles, and that really motivated us during the game," Bruins’ coach AJ Ofodile said.

Hazelwood Central (1-2) played all three of its quarterbacks throughout the game thanks to the Bruins’ defensive strategy, defensive end Josh Powell said.

Ofodile has been preaching that kind of defense since the beginning of the season, he said.

“We’ve said all along, and this continues to hold true this last couple weeks, that we are a defensive football team," he said. "Some of the misperception of us is that we are an offensive football team, and we’re not. We have a good offense. We have offensive guys that can make plays, but really who we’re hanging our hat on this year is our defensive play.”

The offense for Rock Bridge (3-0) scored only 13 points in the first half but put up 27 unanswered in the second half. Ofodile felt the offense performed well despite the play early on.

“It’s a tough deal, and our kids did a good job with it," Ofodile said. "It was rough early on, but we made plays, even still we weren’t necessarily executing all that well, we still made plays enough to be ahead. So hats off to our kids.”

Friday night’s victory was the Bruin’s first win over Hazelwood Central, the first in their four years of competitoin. Next Friday, Rock Bridge looks to continue its winning streak against Jefferson City at home.

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