For the Rock Bridge Bruins, it was hard enough walking into Adkins Stadium and seeing the list of state titles won by the Jefferson City Jays. Trying to beat them was even harder.
The Bruins fell just one touchdown short of upsetting one of the area’s perennial powerhouses, losing 14-7 on Friday.
“Going in I thought we had a shot,” said Bruins’ quarterback Logan Gray, who completed 12 of 29 pass attempts for 181 yards. “I thought we could have won this one. We just got a lot of bad breaks. That’s what happens.”
The game was full of mistakes by both teams. The Bruins receivers dropped several passes and the Jays fumbled three times but managed to lose possession only once.
Jefferson City started the game with an 80-yard opening drive. Eight consecutive running plays set up the lone pass on the drive, a 40-yard touchdown catch for senior Mark Fretwell.
After failing to score on its opening drive, Rock Bridge caught a break when Jefferson City fullback Phillip Hawley fumbled the ball on his own 38-yard line. The Bruins required just seven plays to score, capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore Scott Concannon with 16.3 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
But the Jays came out of the locker room motivated to start the second half and put together a drive that spanned 75 yards. Running back Kirk Duncan ran the ball into the end zone with 6:50 left on the clock in the third quarter. It was the last score of the game.
Rock Bridge came close to tying when Jays’ quarterback Tom McKee threw an interception that was returned to the Jefferson City 28-yard line by Brandon Gerau. Two plays later, Scott Concannon rushed for 29 yards, putting the Bruins on the goal line, but a holding call brought the play back to the 39.
“There’s a lot of opportunities that we had,” said Rock Bridge coach A.J. Ofodile. “Our guys had a great effort though, so I can’t fault that. They have to be mature enough to understand that everything does not go your way all the time, even when it should, even when you deserve it, and even when you put the effort in.”