Tanner Mills arrived at Rock Bridge Field in time.
Mills, a senior who also plays goaltender for the Rock Bridge soccer team, missed most of the first half Friday night playing in the semifinals of the Class 3 District 10 soccer tournament at Cosmopolitan Park. He earned a 2-0 shutout against Jefferson City.
The soccer game ended nearly 20 minutes after the Bruins football team began its final Class 6 District 6 game against Fort Zumwalt West (4-6).
When Mills got to the game, Rock Bridge trailed 7-0. He dressed on the sidelines while the Bruins began a second-quarter comeback.
Rock Bridge drove from its 37-yard line to the Zumwalt West 20, where, on third-and-9, Bruins quarterback Logan Gray completed a 17-yard pass to Demond Thorpe. Sophomore running back Scott Concannon lost three yards on the next play, but on second and goal, Gray found Thorpe again for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 4:26 left in the half.
“I kinda motioned to Demond that I was going to throw it on his back shoulder,” Gray said. “We had talked about that before. It was kind of a good look, and he ran a pretty good route and he just ended up being pretty open.”
Finally dressed and ready to go, Mills came on and kicked the extra point to tie the game.
Mills, who had three extra points in the game, said he didn’t see a single second of the Bruins’ tying drive.
“I got here, got my shoes tied, took the tee out of Aaron (White’s) hand and kicked the field goal,” Mills said.
Rock Bridge will take only a short vacation from football.
“We’ll take some time off, step away from it,” Rock Bridge coach A.J. Ofodile said. “We’ll start meeting back in late fall probably as coaches. We’ll start evaluating what we did right and what we did wrong and some of those things. Then we’ll get back in the weight room in January.”
The Bruins finished the season at 6-4, including losses against ranked teams Liberty, Webb City and Hickman. They went 1-2 in district play.
The victory in their season finale, kept the Bruins undefeated at Rock Bridge Field this year.
Ofodile said ups and downs characterized the season.
“You have the growing pains of a young team, new coaches, new things,” he said. “We had some good moments and we had some bad moments. To finish off with a winning record is always a good thing. It’s definitely a learning experience and we’ll take this season and hopefully we can build on it and get better.”
Friday’s game was the last for 14 Rock Bridge seniors.
For Thorpe, who gained 115 yards on eight receptions, the game was bittersweet.
“I went out with a bang and played as hard as I could,” Thorpe said. “I got to play with a lot of good players and hopefully, this younger team will be a state contender team next year.”