The season continues for the Hickman Kewpies football team.
The Kewpies captured their first district championship in three years after defeating the Jefferson City Jays 42-16 on Friday night at Hickman. The win was Hickman’s first home victory against the Jays since 1984.
Utilizing a balanced offensive attack, the Kewpies (7-3, 3-0) ripped the Jays for 356 yards, including 175 yards on 14 carries from running back Brandon Kendrick.
On Hickman’s first possession, Kendrick ran around the left end and broke away from Jefferson City’s defense for a 52-yard touchdown. Kendrick scored three times, twice on than touchdowns of more than 50 yards. Coach Gregg Nesbitt credited the offensive line for the success of the running game.
“We wanted to get a good balance,” Nesbitt said. “I didn’t know how well we would play up front, but we played extremely well up there.”
The Kewpies opened up a 28-7 lead, but the Jays’ refused to give in. With 25 seconds left in the half, quarterback Tim Allen found Kirk Duncan for a 25-yard touchdown.
After halftime, Jefferson City (7-3, 2-1) stopped Hickman on three plays and forced a punt. Jefferson City drove down to the 5 on a 13-yard drive. The Jays could not punch the ball in, however. The Kewpies’ line held for the four plays and forced a turnover on downs at the 1.
“We knew Jeff City would come back and they did,” Nesbitt said. “We had a great goal line stand.”
After failing to move the ball beyond the 2, the Kewpies lined up to punt. Instead of punting, though, Nesbitt elected to take a safety instead to make the score 28-16.
“We had a lot of confidence in our defense, but we didn’t want to give them a field of 30 (yards),” Nesbitt said. “I debated, I’m not going to lie. It’s a tough call. After a great goal line stand let’s make them go 60 and it worked out for us.”
The move paid off for the Kewpies, because Ryan Nesbitt intercepted Allen to begin the fourth quarter.
“Nesbitt picking it off was the play,” Nuelle said. “They had been throwing on us with the quicks and the going long. Nesbitt stepped in and made a big play, stayed in bounds and made the (interception).”
Hickman’s running game was not the only offensive weapon the Kewpies employed. Quarterback Blake Tekotte finished 9-of-12 for 127 yards and one touchdown. Tekotte found Cedric Alvis on a slant route on fourth-and-10 for a 19-yard touchdown.
“Cedric Alvis came up with a huge, huge play,” Tekotte said. “That pretty much shut the game right there. On a fourth-down play, Cedric, he’s our playmaker, coach called his number and he stepped up and he did his job.”
Hickman will play Fort Zumwalt West on Saturday at 1:30 in O’Fallon in the quarterfinals of the Class 6 tournament.