Facing a 30-7 halftime deficit against the Fort Zumwalt West Jaguars on Friday night, the Hickman Kewpies played one of their best quarters of footbal.
Hickman (2-6) stormed out of the locker room looking like a completely different football team from what it was in the first half.
Hickman scored 17 third-quarter points to make the score 30-24 heading into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, that effort was not enough to win the game. The Jaguars (7-1) outplayed Hickman in the other three quarters on their way to a 45-24 win.
Quarterback Nick Timberlake and wide receiver Byron Bundy were keys to Hickman’s big quarter.
Bundy caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter. It was the first time this season the passing attack had any kind of sustained success.
Wide receivers and quarterbacks aren’t the only aspects of a successful passing attack. Timberlake pointed to the protection from his offensive line as the reason for the success.
“I feel a lot more confident and comfortable back there when I don’t have to worry about somebody being all aver me,” he said.
When all three pieces are performing at a high level, success is inevitable.
“Nick threw some great balls, the receivers were running good routes and the line was blocking,” Bundy said. “They (the line) finally put it together and they showed us what they can do. If they give us time, then we can make plays.”
It would appear that Hickman, a team that has struggled, could take pride in it’s third quarter effort, but that wasn’t the view expressed by players and coaches alike.
“You can never be proud of a loss,” Bundy said. “But we battled hard, we showed what we can do. It’s just a shame we can’t do it for four quarters.”
“We can’t be happy and take a moral victory out of this,” coach Jason Wright said. “We can’t spot them (Fort Zumwalt West) all those points.”
After the game, Hickman’s Field appeared as though the season was over for the Kewpies. In what is likely their last home game, several seniors, Timberlake and Bundy included, stuck around on the field, wishing it wasn’t over.
“I didn’t really want to ever step off that field,” Timberlake. “I wanted to stay out there as long as possible.”
But two district games still remain on the schedule. And Hickman’s playoff hopes are still alive, even if just a glimmer. Hickman would need to win it’s final two games and get some help from the other teams in the district.
“At Hickman we do not throw in the towel,” Wright said. “We are going to come out next week and play like it was Week One.”