Posted: Jul 16, 2014 9:57 AM
Updated: Sep 19, 2014 11:14 PM
|8 / 22||Rockhurst||Home||Loss||14 - 49|
|8 / 29||DeSmet||Home||Win||44 - 0|
|9 / 5||Battle||Away||Win||25 - 11|
|9 / 12||Lee's Summit West||Away||Loss||34 - 48|
|9 / 19||Hickman||Home||Win||42 - 23|
|9 / 26||Helias||Home|
|10 / 3||Jefferson City||Away|
|10 / 11||Winton Woods (OH)||Away|
|10 / 17||Christian Brothers College||Home|
|10 / 24||Districts|
Last season was one for the ages for Coach A.J. Ofodile and the Rock Bridge Bruins. They started the season with three big wins, including ones over perennial powers DeSmet and Ft. Zumwalt West, but then stumbled with losses in five of the next six games. Yet the Bruins were able to get back on track and win their first District game over Jeff City, which helped catapult them on an impressive run all the way up to the State Championship game, where they dropped a tough one to Blue Springs. "Resilient players and a switch from 3-4 back to 4-3 helped us get things turned around resulting in a playoff run that culminated with an appearance in the state championship game," summarized Coach Ofodile. As always, the Bruins are used to big games, tough losses, difficult schedules, but most of all playing winning football, especially in November. Coach Ofodile has made it known that the best way for him and his coaching staff---Logan Gray, Joe Collier, Jami Scholten, Dan Shufeldt, Donnell Jones, Lee Franklin, Stephone Allen, Scott Concannon, Matt Bennett, Josh Capron, Kevin Arciani, and Luke Dierker---to prepare his players for postseason football is to always play the best throughout the entire schedule.
For 2014, the schedule follows this coaching philosophy. Big games against Rockhurst and DeSmet are right out of the blocks, there is a trip to Cincinnati to play perennial power Winton Woods, and they finish the season with a big game against CBC. There would be no shame in dropping one or two of those, but the attitude at Rock Bridge is that every game is winnable, no matter records or opponents, and the team is poised again for another big year.
The spread offense was as productive as ever in 2013, averaging almost 400 yards and over 30 points per game. Several of the integral players return this year, and Coach Ofodile stated, "Experience at QB, OL, and WR will be a strength." All- State quarterback Logan Twehous (6-0, 200) leads the offense. The senior had over 3,500 yards passing and 40 touchdowns last year and is poised for another fantastic season. He has very good receivers too. Senior Alex Ofodile (6-2, 200) was another All-State honoree after having 1,293 yards in receptions and 14 touchdowns. He has garnered much attention from college recruiters all over the country and committed to Oregon late in the summer. Junior Hayden Johnson (6-3, 245) is a prototypical big tight end who is getting some college attention. Senior Joe Barbee (5-9, 175) will be a full-time receiver this season. The coaches will also work in newcomers: junior Taten Lyngstad (5-10, 170) and sophomore Malik Gleason (5-8, 165) at wide receiver. Senior Matt Troyer (6-1, 200) will also contribute time at running back.
The line is made up of some of the state's best. Senior guard Danny Wolf (6-0, 270) earned All-State honors, while senior Jonah Dubinski (6-2, 275) was named 1st Team All-District at the other guard spot. Another 1st Team All-District is senior center Dayton Marcks (5-11, 240). Junior Drew Fougere (6-2, 245) will take his spot at tackle. Junior Cole Miller (6-0, 300) will see some time on the line, working in at guard. The defense underwent a mid-season shift last year from 3-4 to 4-3 and they will continue with that game plan in 2014. According to Coach Odofile "Experience and athleticism in the front 7 will be a strength." That front will start with 2nd Team All-State defensive end Hayden Johnson (6-3, 245), only a junior. Two senior tackles add to that solid up front experience. Joe Boettcher (6-3, 285) and Josh Green (5-10, 285) are tremendous linemen. Matt Troyer is a versatile outside linebacker, as junior Jajuan Chambers (5-11, 225) moves inside to the middle linebacker spot. Junior Bryce Banks (6-3, 185) started six games last season and will be the everyday starter at free safety.
The 28.5 points allowed per game might seem a little high for a state caliber team but given the talent the Bruins play each week, it might not be that excessive. They will be hoping to cut that down with the help of younger players. Several new faces will see their names on the starting defensive grid. Junior Garrett Barnette- Krueger (6-0, 200) will get into the mix at outside linebacker, as will sophomore Isaiah Patrick (5-10, 185). The cornerbacks look to be junior Marcel Smith (5-11, 180) and sophomore Malik Gleason.
As always, the Bruins will test themselves each week. Although they might not go through the early part of the season unscathed, it is the post-season that they are always striving toward. "We are fortunate to play another schedule filled with great teams," confided Coach Odofile. "We will definitely know who we are when the district season starts." Rock Bridge takes up the challenge every season and although they may take some lumps during the season, they are always ready for the District play. Regardless of their season record, the Bruins are going to be a threat come the end of October.
Pigskin's Pick: 6-3