After travelling to Jefferson City to face-off against Helias last Thursday, Rockhurst will be hosting Jefferson City High School in this Friday’s matchup. This will be the last regular season game for both teams, which each have high expectations entering the playoffs.
Rockhurst aims to end a successful regular season with their seventh win in a row, while the Jays look to prove they are capable of defeating top tier opponents–something their schedule does not suggest.
Location: Rockhurst High School
Records: Rockhurst (7-1) vs. Jefferson City (6-2)
Last week: Rockhurst beat Helias 40-10; Jefferson City beat Battle 38-20
State Ranking(according to maxpreps.com): Rockhurst- #2, Jefferson City- #37
Broadcast: Metro Sports
Theme: Jersey Shore
Strength of schedules
At 24.6, Jefferson City’s strength of schedule is more than 20 points less than Rockhurst’s strength of schedule of 45.5. This gap is huge, and will play a big role in tonight’s game since both teams have already competed against all of the teams on their respective schedules. Moreover, despite their easier schedule, Jefferson City has lost twice, once to Rock Bridge which Rockhurst beat earlier this season by a score of 49-14.
After facing high-caliber teams such as Bentonville and Blue Springs, the skill level the Hawklets will be up against shouldn’t be anything that they haven’t seen in the past.
Jefferson City’s high-powered offense vs. Rockhurst’s strong defense
Jefferson City is averaging 35.25 points per game this season; granted, they do have a weak schedule. Still, the Jays have managed to score more than 30 points in their last 5 matchups and should remain hot against Rockhurst.
However, Rockhurst’s defense has been superb thus far, giving up more than 20 points only once since the loss to Webb City.
In addition to Rockhurst’s strong defense, Jefferson City’s defense will be up against an explosive Hawklet offense led by senior quarterback TJ Green. This season, the Hawklets are averaging 33 points per game.
Jefferson City’s lack of experience on the road
With the presence of a student section that increases in size almost every game, Rockhurst has earned the reputation of a difficult place to play for visiting teams.
Jefferson City must come prepared to ignore the crowd and not to allow any big plays. This may be difficult for the Jays as they are not used to road games. This year, Jefferson City has travelled only twice, once to DeSmet (St. Louis, MO), a team with a 1-7 record, and last week to Battle (Columbia, MO), a team with a 4-4 record.
Still, Jefferson City has managed soundly to defeat both of their road opponents, and the Hawklets should not be expecting any less of a challenge.
With their experience against tougher competition, and explosiveness on both sides of the ball, Rockhurst should look to end their regular season with a victory. On top of that, the homefield advantage may play a role against a Jefferson City team that hasn’t seen much of an opposing crowd all season.