The path to a Missouri Class 6 state championship is rarely an easy one — even when the results sometimes suggest otherwise. Few coaches know that fact better than Rockhurst High School’s Tony Severino, the man in charge of the school’s program for the past 31 seasons.
This season’s journey, he says, has been an especially grueling one.
And that might be a good thing. After all, the Hawklets have made a living on making key plays late in the fourth quarter. It took a late touchdown from A.J. Taylor to come from behind and beat Blue Springs in the Class 6 quarterfinals. A week later, it took a late fourth-down stop to preserve a lead against Francis Howell.
Each victory has required a different formula, but Rockhurst has constantly provided the winning one.
“We’ve seen it all,” Severino said. “They’re pretty battled tested. They’ve had to find a way to win a lot of games this year where they’ve been down and come from behind or they’ve had to hold on late. But they keep finding a way.”
And that gives Rockhurst a clear distinction from Christian Brothers College, which the Hawklets will face at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for the Missouri Class 6 state title.
CBC, 13-0, has won all but one game this season by at least 31 points. It defeated Rock Bridge 40-26 in the regular season finale.
Other than that, it’s been smooth sailing. The average margin of victory stands at 43.3 points per game after a 55-10 win against Kirkwood in the state semifinals on Nov. 14.
“Our goal is to keep the game within a touchdown at halftime and get into the second half in a close game,” Severino said. “Hopefully we can make them play a full game because that’s something they really haven’t had to do yet. I think that’s what we did with Francis Howell.”
Rockhurst, 12-1, which suffered its lone defeat against Webb City in Week 2, is gunning for the 10th championship in program history. The Hawklets last won a title in 2010 with a 10-7 victory against Hazelwood Central.