Hickman running back Keshawn Collins received a tackle from the Bruins defense, and the ball went rolling on the slick turf.
When the Kewpies got it back following Collins' fumble, their quarterback Eric “TJ” Turner dropped the snapped ball, and the Rock Bridge defense swallowed it up again.
Hickman’s offense has been a whirlwind of highs and lows this season, and its three-fumble performance in the Providence Bowl at Rock Bridge was another display of that in a 41-32 loss Saturday.
Following the two fumbles and Rock Bridge putting 10 points on the board, a shift in the Kewpies offense managed to keep the game competitive. On the ground, Collins rushed in a 3-yard touchdown to bring the score to 10-7 in the second quarter.
In the air, Turner connected with wide receiver La'Javion Williams in the second quarter for a 69-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Bruins lead to 16-14. Those two drives were a driving force for Hickman while also showcasing its improvement on offense .
Going scoreless last week against Raymore-Peculiar in a 56-0 blowout, the Kewpies knew if they didn’t get things ignited with their offense today, this rivalry game would end the way it has for the last seven years: a Rock Bridge win. .
"We did better than last week, getting points on the board," coach Cedric Alvis said. "We had three turnovers and one of those killed us. If we were able to hold on to it and finish the drive, then it's a different ball game."
Dropping the Providence Bowl for the eighth year in a row is the least of the Kewpies' worries as they head into practice for their final home game against Jackson.
Ball security has been on the top of Hickman offensive's to-do list this year. Whether it was Collins' fumble in the first quarter, Turner's fumble of a snapped ball, or Turner being stripped in the second half of the game, these are all mistakes Alvis wants his squad to avoid. From Week 1, the Kewpies have struggled to hold onto the ball and in return, it has caused the offense to lose momentum .
The Kewpies have scored 21 points or less in all of their losses this season, but they managed to put up 32 points against the Bruins. This is an improvement from last week's shutout and from last year's Providence Bowl performance, a 39-8 loss..
Hickman closes out its regular season at 7 p.m. Friday against Jackson, where ball security will once again be a determining factor on whether or not the Kewpie offense will prevail.