It seemed as if two teams played Kirksville.
In the Bruins’ 47-7 win at Kirksville on Friday, Rock Bridge played much differently in the second half.
Rock Bridge (3-0) struggled in the first half, gaining 85 yards while the Tigers gained 169.
The Bruins’ defense shut down Kirksville in the second half, though, and outgained Kirksville 211 yards to 15.
Bruins quarterback Chase Patton started hitting his receivers after halftime, completing 80 percent of his passes in the second half. He finished 13-for-21 for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think sometimes we take the ability that we have for granted and we sleepwalk through some periods,” Bruins coach A.J. Ofodile said.
Despite the statistical advantage, Kirksville (1-2) trailed 20-7 at halftime.
Rock Bridge capitalized on Kirksville’s miscues.
Kirksville had a 14-play, 67-yard drive stall at the 7.
“We’ve been doing that a lot this year, not punching it in,” Kirksville quarterback Kevin Harrison said.
Kirksville also had trouble with its punting game in the second half. The Tigers failed on their first two punt attempts. A bad snap caused the first failed punt and kicker Scott Lyons dropped the next snap.
Rock Bridge scored after Lyons’ error. The Bruins took over on the Kirksville 3 and scored two plays later on a pass from Patton to Johnny Kruse. That gave the Bruins a 13-0 lead in the second quarter.
Patton struggled in the first half. He was 5-of-11 for 60 yards.
“We were just all out of whack,” Patton said. “We were kind of disappointed because this whole week, we had probably the best week of practice of the season … (and Friday) we came out and everybody kind of died on us.”
Rock Bridge outscored Kirksville 27-0 in the second half. The Bruins rolled off a four-play 31-yard scoring drive on their first possession of the half, capped off by Van Alexander’s 1-yard run.
“Another bittersweet win again,” Patton said. “We didn’t play like we could have. It’s kind of disappointing, but it’s also a win, so we can’t feel too bad about it.”
Kruse had a good night for the Bruins. Kruse made seven catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran five times for 29 yards.
“Johnny is probably the most underrated player, maybe in the state,” Ofodile said. “To get him back, that adds a lot of punch to our offense.
“That’s the Johnny I need to see all the time.”
The Bruins took a 6-0 lead when freshman Scott Concannon returned the opening kickoff 90 yards. It was the second straight game he returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Concannon broke four or five tackles, spinning out of two. He nearly fell at the 35, but managed to regain his balance and break another tackle before breaking into open field.
“Scotty is a gamer,” Ofodile said. “I think that run exemplifies toughness, he refused to go down. He has a bright, bright future.”