Missouri High Schools

Rockhurst readies for state playoffs by dominating Jefferson City 34-17

Rockhurst senior quarterback T.J. Green launched a throw down the right sideline, and within a fraction of a second, the end result was already clear. The ball landed squarely in the arms of a wide-open Nick Bosma, who 65 yards later owned the first touchdown of the game.

The play looked effortless. The Hawklets made the rest of the night appear just as easy.

Rockhurst rolled over Jefferson City 34-17 in its regular season finale Friday night in front of its home fans.

Rockhurst, 8-1, will open the Missouri Class 6, District 4 postseason at home next Friday.

“I feel like we’re playing our best football at the right time,” Green said. “This is a big momentum win. That was a good football team right there.”

Rockhurst led 34-3 in the fourth quarter before coach Tony Severino put his backups in the game.

The Hawklets were dominant in the first half, and they closed it out with an 80-yard touchdown drive — capped with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Green to Lance Boehm — in only 70 seconds. The drive, set up by a Tyler Benninghoff interception in the end zone, put the Hawklets up 27-0 before halftime.

Green’s first-half line: 11 of 13 for 218 yards and three touchdown passes. He finished the night with 265 yards and four touchdowns and completed his final 11 passes.

The ball was spread around, too. Green, the son of former Chiefs quarterback Trent Green, connected with six receivers in the game. That also included a 29-yard touchdown strike to senior Matt Schell and an 18-yard fade route to Will Bazzle for another score.

“It’s whoever’s open. I don’t play favorites,” Green said. “I know all our guys can make a play, so I’m going to throw it to whoever’s open. We got it going early tonight, and we were able to get everyone involved.”

It’s not a bad way to head into the postseason.

While handing Jefferson City only its third loss of the season, Rockhurst won its seventh straight game. That streak has included victories against three teams that played in state-championship games last season — including the Missouri Class 6 defending champion, Blue Springs.

“You need eight, nine and 10,” Severino said of the win streak. “Those are the most important ones.”

Rockhurst topped 34 points Friday for the fifth time in six weeks.

That’s overshadowed a rapidly improving defense that has allowed only 9.2 points per game over the past five games.

The defense was especially good Friday — even after a troublesome start.

After receiving the opening kickoff, Jefferson City, 6-3, started with an impressive 13-play drive, but it ended with a missed field goal. The Rockhurst defense responded by forcing four consecutive three-and-outs and holding Jefferson City to only one first down over the remainder of the half. Jefferson City scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns on Rockhurst’s backup defense.

“After that first drive, our defense was awesome,” Severino said. “Our kids played extremely well. You can’t take away anything form what our guys did. They were pretty awesome.”

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SamMcDowell11.