COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge High School football team is no stranger to dealing with early-season struggles.
De Smet Jesuit High School vs. Rock Bridge High School
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Rock Bridge High School
Last week's 49-14 loss at the the hands of Rockhurst High School conjured memories of 2013's slow start. Coach A.J. Ofodile is confident this year can be different for the Bruins, who finished with a 4-5 record a year ago.
"In the second game of the season, fundamentals and mechanics need to be (fixed)," Ofodile said. "We're physically capable. We're not coming away from last week's loss saying, 'We're not good enough.' We're coming away saying, 'We weren't prepared.' We're all in this deal together. We have to be more studious, but physically we're fine."
Senior quarterback Logan Twehous said that the previous season provided a great learning experience for the team.
"You can get blown out one week, and then blow out that same opponent the following week," Twehous said, referring to both Rock Bridge's 31-21 regular season loss and 48-14 playoff victory against Jefferson City High School last season. "You can't hang your head. You just have to try to get better and better."
The Bruins now turn their attention to De Smet Jesuit High School, who fell on the road to Hazelwood Central High School last week 49-24.
"(De Smet Jesuit) is a very athletic team," Ofodile said. "They have receivers that can make plays and create match-up problems with both height and speed. They're also very well coached by (coach Pat) Mahoney. But our task always remains the same."
Rock Bridge was victorious against the Spartans last season, winning 41-35. Twehous threw for 383 yards and five touchdowns in that 2013 meeting.
"Playing (De Smet Jesuit) is always a challenge," Twehous said. "Last year we got up on them early, they came back late, but we were able to hold on. This time we need to stay ahead."
Supervising editor is Raymond Howze.