Rock Bridge senior Demond Thorpe said he thinks his team fell short when the Bruins had a chance to prove themselves and gain respect two weeks ago.
The Bruins (3-1) lost 32-14 to the Liberty Blue Jays on Sept. 17.
He said he thinks his team has another opportunity to gain that respect this week against Webb City, the No. 1 team in Class 4.
“This is kind of like that second chance everyone’s been wanting,” Thorpe said. “This will be a chance to show what everybody can do. If we get them, we’ll get respect and start feeling a little bit better about ourselves.”
For Rock Bridge, that’s a big if.
Paced by quarterback Brayden Drake and fullback Andrew Stanley, the Cardinals led 57-6 at the half in their homecoming game last week against Nevada.
Drake passed for 173 yards and a touchdown and Stanley gained 105 yards on nine carries and scored three rushing touchdowns in the game. Webb City won 70-6, improving its record to 4-0.
Bruins’ coach A.J. Ofodile said it is important for his team to know how big of a game this is.
“I think the main thing is that we have a healthy respect for them,” Ofodile said. “It’ll be a great game atmosphere, and we’re looking forward to playing a tough team.”
Last week, Hickman upset Blue Springs, top-ranked in Class 6.
Rock Bridge sophomore Scott Concannon said he was hoping his team could do the same.
Concannon rushed for 148 yards on 16 carries last week against Hannibal. He also took a screen-pass 96 yards for a touchdown.
But Concannon was quick to point out that Rock Bridge has to focus on the task at hand, not Hickman’s big victory.
“It’s a rivalry; we want to show (Hickman) up. But we’re not really concerned about their scores until we finally play them,” he said.
Thorpe said that the four-plus hour trip to Webb City is a bigger concern, but it shouldn’t affect the team too much.
“It’s been on my mind for a little while,” he said. “But I think we’re leaving pretty early. We’ll get time to go out there and relax, get settled down and get focused in.”
Ofodile said his team would need strong performances from everyone to pull off an upset.
“We definitely need a team effort, no doubt about it,” he said. “We need a high level of enthusiasm (and) a high level of effort throughout. We can’t have lapses like we had last week. If we do, they’re gonna make us pay for them.”