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QB Patton leads Bruins

Sunday, October 12, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:10 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The board in the training room made the game sound as simple as Rock Bridge made it look.

Rock Bridge defeated Hannibal 63-14 on Friday night at Rock Bridge Field.

The board set the Bruins’ pregame schedule. Players start warming up on the field at 5:30 p.m. and come off at 6:20. The final writing on the board makes it sound simple: 7 p.m. — beat Pirates.

Rock Bridge (6-0) played the most complete game of the season by keeping its focus and making the game look easy at times.

“Sometimes games go that way,” Bruins coach A.J. Ofodile said. “That’s the kind of performance we ended up with.”

The Bruins scored on their opening drive with ease. Rock Bridge capped an eight-play drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Chase Patton to Scott Russell.

Patton was 20-for-23 for 360 yards and six touchdowns. Patton threw his last incomplete pass with 4:40 left in the first quarter.

Ofodile said he can’t take credit for Patton’s success.

“Without Chase, what’s going on now wouldn’t really be possible,” Ofodile said. “As a coach you feel a little guilty in that I probably get a lot of credit I might not deserve.”

The kickoff after the opening drive gave Rock Bridge the momentum for good. Hannibal’s Aaron Bergeson took the kick from the 5 and broke into open field and into Rock Bridge territory before he fumbled at the 40. Greg Williams recovered for the Bruins.

Rock Bridge scored on its next drive on three plays, giving the Bruins a 14-0 lead before Hannibal had run a play.

“That was their answer to our first big drive … so for us to make a big play for them a big play for us was huge momentum-wise,” Ofodile said.

Johnny Kruse and Scott Russell led the Bruins in receiving. Kruse caught eight passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Russell made five catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns.

The Bruins made several short passes to receivers, who broke tackles to gain big yards. The short passes pulled the defense closer to the line, which allowed Patton to throw downfield. Patton connected on his final 13 attempts.

“We didn’t really know what they were going to come out with,” Patton said.

“They were playing off a little bit so we were able to get the short game going. After that, we were able to go over the top of them.”

The Bruins led 42-7 at halftime, which meant a running clock at the start of the third quarter.

In Missouri high school football, when a team leads by 35 or more in the second half, the clock continues running until a team scores or a possession change.

Rock Bridge scored on eight of 11 possessions and gained 464 yards.

“They couldn’t stop our offense the whole game,” Kruse said.

Rock Bridge’s defense contained Bergeson, holding him to 62 yards on 21 carries.

Bergeson scored the Pirates’ first touchdown with 8:50 left in the second quarter on a 3-yard run.

The carry ended a 12-play, 69-yard drive and closed the gap to 21-7.


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