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Rock Bridge football goes back to winning ways

Thursday, November 7, 2013 | 12:00 p.m. CST; updated 4:10 p.m. CST, Thursday, November 7, 2013
Rock Bridge High School wide receiver Antwon Turnage carries the ball as Jefferson City High School defensive back Jon Dement attempts a tackle at Rock Bridge's homecoming football game Oct. 25. Jefferson City won that game, 31-21. But on the next Friday, Rock Bridge defeated Jefferson City 48-18. Rock Bridge is scheduled to face Francis Howell Central in the Class 6, District 3 Semifinals.

COLUMBIA — Losing streaks are never fun.

Losing streaks can bring down the morale and take away confidence. They can kill momentum and cause heartbreak.

The Rock Bridge football team knows what it's like to go through a long losing streak this season. After starting with a 4-1 record and averaging 38.4 points per game, the team lost its last four games of the regular season and averaged a 17-point differential in those four losses.

But Rock Bridge put its resiliency to the test Friday.

The Bruins won 48-18 over Jefferson City in the Class 6, District 3 quarterfinals, beating the same team that contributed to the Bruins' losing streak a week before. Rock Bridge returned to the Rock Bridge of old and did it without its starting quarterback and starting running back.

"Sometimes adversity kind of brings you together a little bit," head coach A.J. Ofodile said. "We've been floundering for quite a while. Our guys have been great all year, even through the slump.

"They've been team guys. Nobody ever turned on each other, and nobody ever placed blame. It was frustrating for a lot of us in that slump, but sometimes having an adverse situation makes everybody rally together."

Quarterback Logan Twehous and running back Eli Stout had to watch the game from the sidelines because of injuries, but Ofodile said he expects both to return for Friday's district semifinal.

Rock Bridge is scheduled to face Francis Howell Central in the semifinal. Francis Howell Central has one of the top running backs in the state in Kendall Morris, who in the district quarterfinals against Hickman ran for 206 yards and two touchdowns, leading his team to a 24-17 victory.

Ofodile knows that his team is in for a tough test, especially since Francis Howell Central is a team that Rock Bridge doesn't meet often. The two teams haven't competed against each other in football since 2005.

"He (Morris) is going to be a huge challenge to stop (with) the yards he's put up," Ofodile said. "That's the thing about the playoffs is not (having) familiarity."

Supervising editor is Erik Hall.


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