COLUMBIA — They lost by 29 points.
It was week five of the season when the Rock Bridge Bruins lost 35-6 against the Rockhurst Hawklets.
Rock Bridge (7-3) vs. No. 3 Rockhurst (9-1)
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Rockhurst High School Stadium, Kansas City
But it was only week five. Friday night, in week 11, the Bruins have the opportunity to advance to football quarterfinals. But it won’t be easy.
They face Rockhurst again.
The Sept. 23 loss increased the Bruins losing streak to two games and dropped their previously undefeated record to 3-2.
The Bruins won their next two games and closed out their regular season with a 5-2 record heading into districts.
After their first two games of district play, the Bruins were 1-1. Needing a win last Friday, the Bruins defeated Blue Springs 32-27 and advanced to sectionals for the first time since 2005.
Since the 29-point loss to Rockhurst, now ranked No. 3 in the state, the Bruins have a 4-1 record and have done something they have not done in six years.
“Yeah,” coach A.J. Ofodile said. “We’re definitely the underdog.”
The Hawklets, the reigning Class 6 state champions, finished their season 9-1 and went undefeated during district play. Their only loss of the season was a 33-30 double-overtime loss to Jefferson City. Their lowest margin of victory in their nine wins was 13 points.
The Bruins do not seem intimidated by the current success and past accolades of Rockhurst. If anything, it’s the opposite.
“I wouldn’t say there’s no pressure, but I mean, when people expect another team to win, and people expect you to lose, that’s where you want to be,” Bruins safety West Wilson said. “It’s human nature to not want expectations on your shoulders. This way, we can play more free.”
The Bruins also benefit from experience. They know what to expect from Rockhurst.
“I think it’s a big advantage,” Ofodile said. “Losing a little bit of that fear of the unknown, it helps out a lot.”
Rock Bridge plays Rockhurst at 7 p.m. Friday in Kansas City.
"Why play a game that you don’t think you can win?" Ofodile said.