With the playoffs looming over the heads of both Rockhurst and Helias, each team braced for a close matchup heading into Thursday. However, Rockhurst went into Jefferson City for the away matchup and simply dominated from start to finish. The final score was 40-10, with Helias scoring all 10 of it’s points during garbage time in the fourth quarter.
Rockhurst senior quarterback TJ Green had another good game, throwing for 124 yards and two TDs to senior receiver Taylor Soukup and rushing for 94 yards and one TD. In addition to Green’s performance, junior AJ Taylor and seniors Kiah Kintchen, Jimmy Dixon and Matt Schell all made big contributions offensively.
However, what really stood out was Rockhurst’s lockdown defense. They recorded four sacks, compared to Helias’s one and forced three fumbles. One of the biggest moments in the game was Rockhurst’s goal line stand at the end of the first half, maintaining a 20-0 Hawklet lead and setting the tone for the second half of the game. Senior linebacker Luke Ritter recorded 6.5 tackles (2 for loss) and 1.5 sacks.
An exceptional performance by the Rockhurst special teams topped off a great all-around performance for the entire team. Junior kicker Jackson Terry made a 43-yard field goal, a 34-yard field goal, and 4 PATs. Also, AJ Taylor returned a punt for 29 yards and a kick for 33 yards. Junior Austin Wike returned a kick for 21 yards.
When Rockhurst plays as well as they did in all facets of the Helias game, they’re one of the best teams in the state. The Hawklets have proven their worth with wins over big teams like Bentonville, Blue Springs and now, Helias.