Jefferson City makes history at Hickman's expense
COLUMBIA - It couldn't have been a better opponent for Jefferson City to make history against.
The Jays picked up the school's 700th victory Friday, and it came at the expense of their rival, Hickman, on the Kewpies' home turf. A physical Jefferson City defense and a patient offense led the way, as it won 23-8.
"There's been such a tremendous rivalry between Jefferson City and Hickman that I don't know if it could've played itself out any better," Jays head coach Terry Walker said. "700 wins is something fantastic, and we're such a small part of it."
The second-year head coach and his team controlled the tempo throughout the game and did so with a strong running attack. Performances by sophomore David Bethune and junior Devin White kept a tough Hickman defense on its toes throughout the night.
Bethune had a run of 35 yards and finished the same drive with a 4-yard run up the middle to get the scoring started in the second quarter. White had a 56-yard run in the first quarter and later scored on a 5-yard slant from senior quarterback Cole Gresham with 13 seconds left in the first half.
Gresham put the game out of reach with a rushing touchdown of his own late in the fourth quarter on a drive that ate up nearly 10 minutes of the clock. Only one pass was attempted during the drive, which resulted in a roughing the passer penalty called against Hickman.
The deflating drive Jefferson City crafted started in the third quarter and stayed alive with the help of three straight third-down conversions. The offensive line created plenty of space for Bethune to create, and Gresham picked his spots on when to keep the ball for himself and run for it.
Walker said that the team did a good job of embracing the running attack and that the ground game was necessary for a team to win come playoff time.
Every Hickman drive, except for two, ended in a punt. One of those drives ended in a turnover on downs after getting deep into Jefferson City's territory. The Jays limited Hickman's potential for a big play in the air or on the ground for majority of the game.
The second drive that didn't end in a punt saw more Jevean Brown magic. The senior quarterback kept the ball on a designed play and ran it up the middle for 60 yards.
The drive later ended in Hickman's only score, as Brown ran in a 4-yard touchdown and followed with the two-point conversion in the third quarter. The entirety of the scoring drive was 25 seconds.
Hickman's offense showed some life before the touchdown drive, as Brown also made something out of nothing. He evaded multiple Jefferson City defenders on a broken play and completed a pass to gain a first down in the second quarter.
Hickman had more opportunities for big plays, but just didn't connect. Brown overthrew senior wide receiver Talin Kemp and sophomore wide receiver TJ Turner on plays that would've ended in touchdowns.
"We have to be consistent and play the game we know how to play," Brown said. "We have to go out and execute plays."
Hickman head coach Cedric Alvis said that they have to sustain drives if they want to win. Too many times did the Kewpies have a positive play, only to be followed by a sack or a rushing attempt stuffed in the backfield.
Hickman (1-2) looks ahead to a 7 p.m. Friday matchup at Smith-Cotton.