COLUMBIA — It’s hard to imagine a bigger game for Hickman football than Friday night’s dramatic 22-21 Providence Bowl victory against rival Rock Bridge.
The Kewpies overcame an 11-point deficit, snapping a three-game losing streak against the Bruins and eliciting a raucous celebration on Faurot Field that saw Hickman students pour out of the stands and onto the turf.
But the stakes will be even higher next Friday when Hickman travels to Jefferson City for what coach Arnel Monroe calls one of the oldest rivalry games west of the Mississippi River.
"It's the Kewpies and the Jays," Mornoe said while collecting himself after Friday's emotional win. "That's all I have to say."
Despite a 5-0 record, the Kewpies have maintained a humble attitude and say they know now is not the time to stop working.
"We're not going to be satisfied," senior linebacker J'den Cox said. "And if anyone thinks they're going to be, they've got another thing coming. We're not going to let that happen."
While Rock Bridge is a major rival for Hickman, the games against Jefferson City take on an added level of importance for the program.
"(Rock Bridge) is personal," Cox said. "Jeff City is business."
The undefeated Kewpies not only enter Friday's game on a five-game winning streak, they also have found an added dimension on offense. Junior quarterback Mason Murray threw three touchdowns in the win over Rock Bridge, inspiring confidence in his coaching staff and teammates.
"We're going to continue to run the ball to open things up and clean things up for him," Monroe said. "Mason has just kept working at it."
Jefferson City also enters the game with a 5-0 record. In last year's meeting between the two teams, the Kewpies upset the highly-ranked Jays to reach the playoffs. But Monroe says his team just pulled a whisker off the tiger with that win.