FNF Game of the Week preview: Hickman at Rock Bridge
COLUMBIA - To say the season has not been kind so far for the Hickman Kewpies and Rock Bridge Bruins would be putting it mildly. Both teams are 0-4 and both are only averaging around 10 points a game. When the two squads face off on Friday in the 2016 version of the Providence Bowl, something has to give.
The Kewpies are looking to break a nearly two year long streak without a win. The last time Hickman notched a "W" was in October of 2014 against Liberty.
First year Kewpie head coach Devin Brown is also looking to find the win column for the first time after taking over after the sudden passifng of late Kewpie coach Arnel Monroe.
Brown said putting an entire game together is crucial for his team to finally break through.
"We just need to be consistent in what we're doing and make plays and not have turnovers at bad times," Brown said. "That's our biggest thing and we're getting better each week."
The Kewpies have shown some signs of life this season. The team made long-time rival Jefferson City nervous after hanging with the Jays 6-7 through the opening quarter. Hickman also has a returning offensive line core that should be imposing for a Bruins defense that has given up at least 32 points in every game this season.
As for Rock Bridge, Brown knows the athleticism on the Bruins' squad is not necessarily reflected in theit record.
"They have a big offensive line, the running back is very solid, very quick, very fast," Brown said. "The defense also has a lot of good athletes on it, so we have to be solid. We've got to be good in special teams and not give up big plays."
Brown will not be the only first year head coach on the field Friday night. Rock Bridge head coach Joe Collier will be there with him.
Defensive coordinator under former coach A.J. Ofodile, Collier became the head man after Ofodile took a job as Mizzou Football Director of Recruiting.
The Bruins have also had some moments of encouragement during their rough start to the season. Rock Bridge lost a heart breaker of a game to St. Louis high school DeSmet 27-32 in week two, and has a large, close-knit group of seniors on this year's roster.
On offense, Rock Bridge will still be without starting quarterback Trevor Twehous who is still recovering from an early season injury, and will be looking to bounce back from being shut out against Lee's Summit last week.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bruins have been lead by senior linebackers Isaiah Patrick and Randy James and will lean on their senior leadership in this year's Providence Bowl.
Collier said his playerd need to focus on their individual jobs to make sure this is the week the team breaks through with a win.
"Growth needs to happen," Collier said. "We need to finish games and we need to makes sure we're assignment driven each game. That's been our Achilles heel until now."
You can catch highlights from the Providence Bowl as well as other Friday Night Fever games from around the area on KOMU 8 News at Ten on Friday night.