Brandon Gerau, a sophomore wide receiver for the Bruins, said his surprising performance was a result of perseverance.
After making 14 receptions for one touchdown through the first five weeks of the season, Gerau had a breakout game last week against Francis Howell Central.
He made seven receptions for 126 yards and three touchdowns, boosting his season receiving total to 289 yards.
“I really worked hard in the off-season,” he said. “And I think it paid off.”
Rock Bridge coach A.J. Ofodile said he didn’t know where all of his offense would come from at the beginning of the season, but Gerau, who is playing in his first varsity season, has been a welcome addition.
“(Gerau) just works hard consistently,” Ofodile said. “He’s worked hard, he’s been productive, he’s proved himself.”
Gerau doesn’t take full responsibility for his success.
“Teams that double up on Demond (Thorpe) are going to leave another guy wide open,” he said.
Thorpe served as a decoy against Francis Howell Central, drawing the defense away from Gerau, fighting off double coverage to catch a touchdown pass.
Bruins’ quarterback Logan Gray, who threw touchdown passes of 21, 15 and 19 yards to Gerau, said his receivers have helped him.
(Gerau is) really valuable,” Gray said. “Before the season, I didn’t know how good he was going to be. Now that you have two guys that you have a whole bunch of confidence in, it just makes things a lot easier, a lot easier to throw the ball.”
The Bruins won’t have it easy tonight when they host the Helias Crusaders (2-4) for homecoming.
Gerau has never played a game against them, and the Bruins have beaten the Crusaders once in the past eight years. The Bruins broke a seven-game losing streak to Helias last season with a 34-7 victory.
“We don’t want to fall back into that streak again,” Ofodile said. “We want to try and build a streak of our own.”
Rock Bridge’s victory last season gave it the North Central Missouri Conference title and denied the Crusaders their 11th title since joining the conference in 1981.
Ofodile said tonight’s game is a chance to do some tweaking before the Bruins enter districts next week.
“It’s definitely a final tune-up,” he said. “But even more than that, it’s a big rivalry game for us.”
For Gerau, it’s another chance to prove his value.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll pay off.”