Sports

Varsity Football: Kickapoo preview

The Rockhurst Hawklets will host the Kickapoo Chiefs this Friday, following last weeks dominant victory over Lees Summit North in their first playoff game of the season. Kickapoo is also coming off a big win against Joplin, after the first week of the Missouri high school football postseason.

Although Rockhurst has been rolling since their only loss in the second week of the regular season, they cannot overlook a somewhat unfamiliar opponent. Kickapoos high-powered offense is no stranger to close games, as this one will be if the Chiefs hope to scratch out a victory over the dominant Hawklets.

Time: 7:00

Location: Rockhurst High School

Records: Rockhurst (9-1) vs. Kickapoo (7-3)

Last Week: Rockhurst beat Lees Summit North 43-14; Kickapoo beat Joplin 35-21

State Ranking (according to maxpreps.com): Rockhurst- #3, Kickapoo #48

Theme: Halloween Costumes

 

Key Matchups and Players to watch:

Strength of Regular-Season Schedules

The Hawklets entered the postseason after an excellent regular season, losing only once to the number one ranked team in Missouri. Moreover, this success did not come easy. Rockhurst’s regular-season strength of schedule was 45.5, according to Max Preps’ strength of schedule rating. The Hawklets faced teams like Bentonville and Blue Springs–each have commits to top tier college football teams, including K-State and Alabama.

In comparison to Rockhurst’s elite schedule, Kickapoo’s is almost four times worse at 11.8. With such a lack of competition throughout the year, it will be interesting to see how the Chiefs matchup against a Rockhurst squad that has seen it all.

Kickapoo strong offense vs. Rockhurst’s linebackers

Kickapoo scored 45 or more points in six of it’s first eight games. Still, these points were against teams far less prestigious than the likes of the Hawklets’ opponents. These are impressive numbers, though, and Rockhurst’s defense, which has been performing well, needs to stay alert and prepared to deter any breakout plays. The defensive performance for the Hawklets will rely heavily on the linebackers, especially seniors Luke Ritter and Pat Thomas who lead the team in tackles.

TJ Green

The senior quarterback has had an outstanding year. Much of this offense’s success can be attributed to Green’s excellent performances, putting up the following numbers in the regular season: 21 TDs with just two interceptions, as well as 250 yards rushing and three rushing TDs.

The offense lives and dies by Green, and so far this season the offense has been living well. If the Hawklets are going to make a deep run, they will rely on Green to remain dominant. With a plethora of talented receivers and an offensive line that has improved throughout the year, he should be successful against the Chiefs.

Bottom Line

The Hawklets have been on a fantastic run ever since their loss to Webb City, and that should continue this week against Kickapoo. But this is a classic “trap” game. With either Blue Springs or Ray-Pec looming next week, the Hawklets cannot let themselves look past a Kickapoo team that has an explosive offense.

 

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