Rockhurst started the fourth quarter 15 yards away from the Blue Springs South end zone. After 36 scoreless minutes of football, it might as well have been 15 miles.
Rockhurst senior quarterback Chance May knew what had to be done.
“We came in right down there, we smell the end zone, it’s time to put it in,” May said.
He proceeded to do exactly that, scoring on a 15-yard run, and the Hawklets went on to secure a 14-7 road victory on Friday night.
“We had good field position pretty much the whole game, and we just couldn’t convert,” May said. “Right there, I just took it, and I said, ‘I’m going to put it in.’”
It wasn’t exactly now-or-never, but it certainly felt like it.
“We had to (score),” Rockhurst coach Tony Severino said. “I told the guys, ‘I’ll take 3-0.’ We aren’t going to win a lot of games scoring a lot of points… I told them 3-0 would be fine, and I was looking like a prophet there for a while.”
Rockhurst extended its lead to 14-0 Brady McCanles’ 5-yard run.
Blue Springs South, the defending Class 6A state champions, scored with 1:20 remaining to pull within seven points but the ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, and the chance to tie the game went with it.
The Rockhurst defense did the rest, forcing six turnovers, including four interceptions. The Hawklets, 2-0, barely let Blue Springs South, 0-2, breathe.
“Our defense kept coming up with big play after big play, and that’s all we’ve been talking about,” Severino said. “In an era where offenses are all high-powered and everything, we feel like the defensive guys, in the end, might come out ahead.”
There’s still plenty of season left, starting with a trip to Bentonville, Ark., next week. But two wins in two weeks is a good start.
“Definitely better than last year,” May said.