In a battle between two top-five football teams in the state, it took nearly two and half quarters before either side scored a point.
When the game was over, No. 3 Rockhurst outlasted No. 5 Hickman, 14-7, at Hickman High Friday night.
Both teams headed to the locker room scoreless at halftime holding the opposing offense to less than 100 total yards.
“We were happy to be where we were scoreless at the half,” Hickman coach Gregg Nesbitt said. “Unfortunately, we were unable to take advantage of it during the second half.”
It looked promising, however, when on the Kewpies opening drive of the second half, quarterback Andrew Perkins threw a deep ball down the right sideline, where Cedric Alvis out-jumped a Rockhurst defensive back and took it into the end zone for 67-yard touchdown reception.
“We thought we’d take a shot up top,” Nesbitt said. “It was defended pretty well, and it just came down to Cedric Alvis making a great individual play to give us a flicker of hope.”
The long connection gave Hickman a 7-0 lead, but it was immediately answered by the Hawklets as they marched the ball down the field 64 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Towards the end of the drive, Rockhurst quarterback Terry McMahon converted on a crucial fourth-and-four near the goal line where the Hawklets punched it in on the next to tie the game at seven apiece.
“That (fourth down play) was a big play,” coach Tony Severino said. “(McMahon) really did a good job of seeing the opening, turning it up and going after it.”
The Kewpies never fully recovered after that, failing to gain one first down the rest of the night. Rockhurst’s defense held Hickman to 124 yards of total offense and just two first downs all night
“We knew our defense was going to have to keep us in games,” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said, “especially against teams like this.”
The Hawklets’ second and ultimately game-winning score began on their own 31-yard line to start the fourth quarter. Eating up nearly six minutes of the final quarter, McMahon connected on an 18-yard pass with running back David Belfonte to give Rockhurst a 14-7 lead.
Belfonte finished the game with 92 rushing yards on 19 carries and 25 yards receiving. McMahon went 8-14 with 113 yards passing for the Hawklets.
Perkins, in his first start at quarterback after the season ending injury to senior Blake Tekotte, threw for 98 yards, completing 55.6 percent of his passes.
“I thought (Perkins) handled himself fine,” Nesbitt said. “He was the least of our problems from an offensive standpoint.”