COLUMBIA - The Hickman football team walked off LeMone Field at Alumni Stadium on Friday after a convincing 34-14 win against Timberland in the opening round of the district playoffs to a celebration.
Students waited, battling the 40-degree temperatures to greet the Kewpies as they straggled out of the locker room one by one. The smell of burgers and hot dogs wafted through the air from the weekly post-game tailgate, as fans, players and coaches all relished in the win.
The district playoff game between Hickman and Rock Bridge is set to kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
Tickets go on sale at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday at both high schools. Tickets are available in the schools’ main offices from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Friday at noon or until tickets are sold out. The tickets will be $5 each and are limited to 10 tickets per person.
Despite the festivities, the team couldn’t help but be distracted by its next opponent. Having just received word that Rock Bridge had won its first round game against Troy, the Kewpies knew that a second round match up against their rival was right around the corner.
“It’s Rock Bridge, that’s all you have to say,” coach Arnel Monroe said after his team’s win last Friday night.
Hickman and Rock Bridge will meet for the second time this season. The first meeting came Sept. 20 at Faurot Field, where the Kewpies pulled off a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback to upset the Bruins and jump-start theteam's run to the No. 2 seed in the district.
As always, Hickman is ready to get another shot at Rock Bridge.
“Going into another one against Rock Bridge, let’s hope and pray we can come out with another one,” senior linebacker J’Den Cox said. “I believe that we can. We keep getting better and we’re still hungry.”
Friday night’s game will have a different setting. Hickman earned the right to host the game this Friday night with a 7-1 regular season record and wins against Rock Bridge and Jefferson City. Since 2004, each meeting between the Hickman and Rock Bridge has been held at Faurot Field.
“It’s going to be crazy,” running back Deven Larry said. “There’s going to be a lot of people here.”