Tony Severino knows his team. And he knows it well.
Two weeks ago,Severino told me
Rockhurst would experience its share of growing pains early in the season. After all, the Hawklets’ first three opponents were East St. Louis, a program that has won 100 games in the past 10 years, Bentonville (Ark.) and Blue Springs, the defending Missouri Class 6 state champions.
This is the part of coaching that excites him.
"We want to see how they handle adversity early, because there's going to be some," Severino said, an upbeat tone in his voice.
Well, he's about to find out.
East St. Louis used a late fourth-quarter touchdown to defeat Rockhurst 19-14 in the season opener on Friday.
After trailing 13-0, Rockhurst took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter when T.J. Green found tight end Jake Simshueman for a 13-yard score.
But it was short lived. East St. Louis quarterback Temarcus Jones threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Gregory Taylor with 4:48 to play.
"I thought our kids battled hard and we took advantage of our chances in the second half," Severinotold the Belleville News Democrat. "But with five new offensive linemen, there was no way we could handle the lineman (Terry Beckner), linebacker (Kyron Watson) and defensive back (Taylor). They were all over us all night.''