Kruse key for Bruins

Sunday, September 28, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:19 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Rock Bridge couldn’t help but enjoy the game.

Rock Bridge beat Marshall 42-6 on Friday at Rock Bridge Field in a game that many said was the Bruins’ best performance of the season.

“I felt more relaxed tonight,” Bruins quarterback Chase Patton said. “We had a lot of fun. When you come out and have fun, you don’t really think about it. You just play your best.”

Last year, the Bruins (4-0) lost a tough game to Marshall 17-14. Patton said it was nice to get the win this year.

“That game last year was a heartbreaker, I guess,” Patton said. “After that we kind of went downhill a little bit.

Rock Bridge finished 4-3 in the North Central Missouri Conference last year after starting 3-0. Marshall was the first team to beat the Bruins.

Johnny Kruse led the Bruins, playing tailback, kick returner, defensive back and taking one snap at quarterback. Kruse gained 160 yards on seven touches and scored three touchdowns. Kruse gained 112 yards rushing on four carries, including the longest play from scrimmage this year for Rock Bridge.

Kruse ran for a 68-yard touchdown after taking a snap as quarterback in the first quarter. Kruse lined up in shotgun formation on a play coach A.J. Ofodile said was designed to let Kruse touch the football.

Kruse couldn’t catch the low snap, but picked the ball off the muddy field, soaked by rain prior to kickoff. Kruse ran to the right and broke into open field.“I was just trying to make it there ‘cause you sink about 4 inches in the dirt along the sidelines,” Kruse said.

Kruse scored twice in the third quarter, on a 39-yard reception and a 25-yard run.

“He’s one of the more versatile guys around and to have him back it just adds a huge dimension to our offense,” Ofodile said.

Patton was 13-for-20 for 171 yards, connecting with six receivers. Tyler Dow replaced Patton in the third quarter with Rock Bridge ahead 42-0.

Rock Bridge also deflected two punts in the second quarter.

Freshman Scott Concannon scored on the first deflected punt, returning it 26 yards. It was his third touchdown return in three games.

“He’s just got a nose for the end zone,” Ofodile said.

Rock Bridge’s defense shut down Marshall (1-3), holding the Owls to 40 yards in the first half and 129 in the game. The Owls scored with 2:49 left when J.B. Barton caught a 19-yard pass in the back of the end zone from backup quarterback Alex Pointer.

Patton said the Bruins played well all four quarters for the first time.

“It can be a great thing, or it can be a bad thing,” Patton said. “If we get satisfied with it, it’s a bad thing. Everybody came out and played intense from the first quarter on.

“I think we know how (playing well) feels now.”

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