Varsity Football Preview: Columbia Hickman

This Friday, Rockhurst will host Hickman High School (Columbia, MO) in the annual homecoming football game.

Rockhurst enters this game hot off a victory against rival Blue Springs. Hickman, on the other hand, has struggled this season and is still seeking its first win.

At the moment, Rockhurst is sitting on a well-earned state ranking of 3, in contrast to Hickman’s state rank of 102. If this significant gap is any indication of how the game will go, then Rockhurst should dominate.

Time: 7:30
Location: Rockhurst High School
Records: Rockhurst (5-1) vs. Hickman (0-6)
Last week: Rockhurst beat Blue Springs 14-13; Hickman lost to Battle 14-7
State Ranking (according to Rockhurst- #3, Hickman- #102
Broadcast: n/a
Theme: Superheroes

Key Matchups:

Hickman’s unproductive offense vs. Rockhurst’s hot defense

Hickman averages only 12.5 points per game, compared to Rockhurst’s 30.3. This statistic is only one of several that point to what should be a dominant Rockhurst performance. Other than Rockhurst’s only loss to undefeated Webb City, the most points they have allowed a team is 22, to Har-Ber, after subbing out many of their starters.

Moreover, both teams have played Rockbridge this year, and if these games are any indication of how the game will end up, Rockhurst should be on the winning side. In Hickman’s game against Rockbridge, they allowed 42 points, and scored only 23. Rockhurst, on the other hand, allowed only 14 points to Rockbridge, and put up 49.

Confidence levels

Rockhurst has been on a hot streak, beating excellent teams. In order, they have beaten the following in the last four weeks: Bentonville (AR), Har-Ber (AR), Blue Springs South (MO) and Blue Springs (MO). Bentonville was the number 1 ranked team in Arkansas when they lost Rockhurst, and Blue Springs entered the season ranked number 2 in the state of Missouri, defending a 2013 state championship.

On the flip side, Hickman hasn’t won a game yet. Rockhurst has a win percentage of .833, whereas Hickman’s sits at an unintimidating .000, after 6 games for each team. Going into this game Friday, it would be surprising if Hickman came out with a winning attitude. Although they may have been hungry for a first victory earlier this season, their ambition may not be as prevalent after six straight losses, in a game in which they are noticeably outmatched.
Strength of schedules

Rockhurst plays more difficult teams from a variety of states, including Bentonville (AR) and Blue Springs (MO), both of which are top tier teams in their respective states. Although Hickman’s strength of schedule has risen substantially this year–from 27.7 last year, to 39.7 this year–they have not had any success.

Rockhurst’s strength of schedule rating is 45.5, ranking 5.8 points more difficult than Hickman’s. Not to mention the fact that Hickman’s strength of schedule rating is boosted substantially just for playing Rockhurst, who had a power ranking of 42.9 coming into the season.

Even with a more difficult schedule, Rockhurst has had much more success this year than Hickman, as evidenced by each teams’ record.

Bottom Line

Everything points to the Hawklets winning this game: from each teams’ state ranking, to each teams’ winning percentage (or lack there of). If Rockhurst can keep consistent with what it has been doing the last 4 weeks, and Hickman does too, the results should show a Rockhurst victory.

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