Bruins facing tough task

Rock Bridge has beaten Jefferson City once in school history.
Friday, October 22, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:46 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Rock Bridge running back Scott Concannon knows the statistic. That’s why he won’t make any guarantees about tonight’s district-opening game with the Jefferson City Jays.

“I would like to win,” he said. “It can put us in the playoffs if we win our district games. Beating them would be a step in the right direction.”

If the Bruins do win, it would be the second time in school history.

Concannon, a sophomore, said he knows he has a big role to play on the 2004 squad that hopes to change that football statistic.

After breaking the team record with the longest run from scrimmage with a 99-yard touchdown run last week, Concannon is starting to make a name for himself. He has amassed 676 yards on 85 carries for eight touchdowns.

With his help, the Bruins could beat the Jays (5-2) for the second time in three years when they open District 6 play tonight in Missouri’s capital city .

“It’s the biggest (game) of the year so far,” said Rock Bridge quarterback Logan Gray. “This is what you play the whole season for.”

Going into district play, Gray is the area’s leading passer with 1,580 yards and 13 touchdowns.

When the teams met in 2002, Rock Bridge defensive tackle Van Alexander intercepted a pass with less than two minutes remaining in the game to preserve a 24-21 win for the Bruins, their first in eight attempts.

The Jays finished 2-8, their worst season in 22 years.

With a newfound confidence and undefeated record in 2003, the Bruins welcomed Jefferson City to Rock Bridge Field. The Jays returned to their winning ways and overcame a late 10-point deficit to hand Rock Bridge its first loss of the season.

Coach A.J. Ofodile said his team hasn’t forgotten the loss.

“I think that’s always in the back of your mind,” he said. “Anytime somebody beats you, you want to go out there and prove that you can do the same thing.”

The Bruins’ defense can give them that chance tonight if they are able to find and pounce on loose balls.

The Jays have struggled to hold onto the football this year, losing 18 of 34 fumbles. They lost all four fumbles in last week’s game against Hazelwood Central, a 21-14 win. Despite the statistic, Jefferson City has just two blemishes on its record: a 28-10 loss to third-ranked KC-Rockhurst in Class 6, and a 34-14 loss to Webb City, the No. 1 team in Class 4.

But the Bruins made a few mistakes of their own last week against Helias. They fumbled three times and were called for five false starts, losing 85 yards on penalties alone. Gray said his team can’t make those mistakes tonight.

Concannon is optimistic that Rock Bridge can get its second win against Jefferson City tonight.

“Each week we’re getting better,” Concannon said. “We’re hoping to keep getting better.”

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