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Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

The Student News Site of Rock Bridge High School

Bearing News

RBHS football battles, loses to PHS in season opener

Stefan Williams (12) waits on the field. Photo by Allie Wood.

In the opening game of the season, the Bruins fell to Park Hill South (PHS) at home by a final score of 10-13 Friday, Aug. 25.

The game began with RBHS possession and a hand off to senior running back Stefan Williams, who gained about six yards on the play and received the lion’s share of running back touches on the game. Immediately after, senior quarterback Sam Kaiser scrambled from a collapsing pocket and tossed the ball up for a reception and long run that ended in a touchdown with less than a minute drained off the clock. 

PHS’ responding drive was a quick four and out in which the Bruins overwhelmed the offensive line and halted any attempts at running. Senior linebacker Elijah Morton was integral in stopping the run game and plugging holes in the defensive line for the duration of the night alongside fellow senior linebackers Grayson Cutchlow and Spencer Irvin. 

“I think the first half was kind of tough,” Morton said. “It was hot and hard to breathe out there, and we got tired, but I felt like we played cool, and at the end of the day, I’m just blessed to be here.” 

With the Bruins second possession, however, came one of the most exciting moments of the night as senior kicker Joey Scardina punched a 57 yard field goal through the uprights. The Panthers responded to the scoring drive with a scrambling play that put them at first and goal from the one and resulted in a touchdown. This set the score at 10-7 in favor of RBHS to finish the first quarter. 

Upon returning in the second quarter, PHS knocked through a field goal of their own, after a strong defensive hold in the red zone. Following this, the struggle to put points on the board began for both teams. A long punt return by senior Cullen Snow was negated by an interception by Kaiser a couple plays later, and on a separate drive, the Bruins attempted a short fourth down, but were stopped by the crushing defensive line of the Panthers.

“We really want to try to get some stuff cleaned up upfront. Offensively, I think our offensive line needs to work on some stuff and with the receiving corps we want to make sure we’re doing a better job of finishing the catch.”

— offensive coordinator, Alex Harrell

Offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Alex Harrell said that come Monday, the offense would start work on a number of gaps and mishaps that occurred during Friday’s game. Harrell also said that the defense “played very well,” and that he believes it is on the offense to put up points so the defense is not “shouldering the whole game.” 

“We really want to try to get some stuff cleaned up upfront,” Harrell said. “Offensively, I think our offensive line needs to work on some stuff and with the receiving corps we want to make sure we’re doing a better job of finishing the catch.” 

Tied at ten apiece, the Bruins and Panthers continued their defensive stalemate through the third quarter. Junior Brady Davidson entered throughout the game, alternating drives and occasionally plays with Kaiser as the two aided in building numerous big plays across the game. But every big run by senior Cooper Myers or scrambling pass by the alternating quarterbacks was ultimately nullified by a fourth down stop, penalty flag or turnover. 

Reaching into the fourth quarter with the game still tied, the Bruins formed a chain-moving drive, pushing them down the field until a turnover on downs gave PHS the ball. A drive of their own followed by a facemask call resulted in a 51 yard field goal attempt that gave the Panthers a three-point lead over the Bruins with only 1:55 left on the clock. 

Junior receiver Devin Holt said he felt the defense performed well throughout the game, playing “with energy and attacking the ball every play.” Holt also said there were things he wanted to work on in the following weeks.

“I’d like to improve on my urgency,” Holt said. “I feel [on] Friday I was lacking in that area, and I wasn’t totally dialed in.” 

In the last few minutes of the game, turnover troubles began anew for the Bruins and a snap that slipped through Kaiser’s hands resulted in a PHS possession. While the defense was once again able to force a three-and-out, there was less than a minute left on the clock. 

A second fumble marked the Bruins’ fourth and final turnover and sealed both the game and potential come-back drive at a 10-13 score in favor of the Panthers. 

While the Bruins outplayed and outmatched the Panthers, a mix of turnovers, dropped passes and missing pass protection ultimately brings their record to 0-1 on the season as they look ahead to games down the road. 

“Realistically, we think if we work really hard and we kind of take care of our business, we have a chance to win the conference again, which is always a good goal,” Harrell said. “The district assignments and alignments were just released today, so I think we have a really good shot to win districts. If we can handle both of those, that puts us at playing week 13 and maybe putting ourselves in line to have a shot at state.” 

What do you think is the Bruins’ greatest strength this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the Contributor
Josiah Anderson
Josiah Anderson, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Senior Josiah Anderson is the co-editor-in-chief of Bearing News and the Sports Editor. He is also the announcer for RBHS Baseball. In his free time, Josiah likes to read, write, watch the Cardinals and play disc golf.

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