Rockhurst defeated Francis Howell 25-20 last Friday en-route to their first state championship since 2010.
The Hawklets scored 18 unanswered points until the middle of the second quarter, when the Francis Howell Vikings first scored. The game continued with a furious comeback led by Franics Howell running back, Desmond Niboh. He scored twice on runs in the second and third quarters.
But, like usual, the Hawklet defense was able to hold on when it mattered. They stopped Howell in the redzone to end the first half and then came up with two more stops on fourth downs late in the fourth quarter, getting key plays from senior DE Charlie Heck and senior CB Will Bazzle.
Quarterback TJ Green was outstanding again in under freezing temperatures, opening the game with a quarterback sneak for a touchdown, and throwing three touchdowns to Jimmy Dixon, Nick Bosma and AJ Taylor, respectively.
However, while Green had a total of 237 yards on 14 completions, due to the cold, both teams relied heavily on their running backs. Junior tailback AJ Taylor played spectacularly, gaining over a hundred rushing and receiving yards in the game, including a 71-yard receiving touchdown, in which he burned the whole Howell defense down the sideline. Also, Howell running backs Desmond Niboh and Sutton Smith began the Viking’s rally, scoring all of the team’s points as each ran for over a hundred yards.
As the game ended, the home student section erupted into hysteria and “dome” chants. The Hawklets ran over to the student section after a short huddle, embracing their friends and Rockhurst brothers.