Loeffler's Link

The Jefferson City Jays celebrated Senior Night at Adkins Stadium on Friday night as they hosted Rockhurst in the regular-season finale.

Oct. 13, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. --- The regular season opened Aug. 18 when every team in the state was --- obviously --- 0-0.


The high temperature that day was a surprising and comfortable 85 degrees.

The regular season closed Oct. 13 --- and the old cliche' kicked in. Every team in the state is back to 0-0, with the start of district play looming next week.

The high temperature on this day was a surprising and wonderful 85 degrees.

Everything old is new again, isn't it?

Like Missouri playing Kansas in a game of college basketball. I mean, really, how great is that?

Friday night at Adkins Stadium gave us the newest edition of an old rivalry, one that was considered the best in the state for a long, long time. But as has been the case for nearly two decades, 10th-ranked Rockhurst had the better, as Brady McCanles rushed for 189 yards and scored three touchdowns --- one on a 99-yard kickoff return ---- helping the Hawklets get past the Jefferson City Jays, 30-12.

Not everything old is new again, as the Hawklets have now won 17 of the last 19 in the series to increase their series lead to 26-15.

On Senior Night, however, it was the Jays (3-6) who took the early lead after recovering a fumble on the game's second play and going 28 yards --- with help from three penalties by the Hawklets (6-3) --- for the score. The drive was finished off on a 2-yard plunge by quarterback Devon Roberson just 102 seconds into the affair.

The PAT was blocked, however, leaving it 6-0 --- and meaning the Jays would only have the lead for 14 seconds, as McCanles returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. This point-after was good, giving the Hawklets the lead for good at 7-6 lead with 10:04 left in the first quarter.

After two touchdowns in less than two minutes, there was only one more until the fourth quarter. This one came in the second quarter on a 14-play, 85-yard drive that concluded on the craziest of plays.

Rockhurst went for it on 4th-and-goal from inside the one, but quarterback Luke Boehm fumbled, a mad scramble ensued, and the ball squirted all the way outside the 10. But there was McCanles to scoop it up, and the senior darted into the end zone to give the Hawklets a 14-6 lead.

When you've lost 17 of 19, these things happen.

Rockhurst made it 17-6 at the half on a 37-yard field goal. But the Hawklets could not get separation against the scrappy Jays, who held Rockhurst in check until midway through the fourth quarter.

After an interception, the Hawklets sprinted 81 yards in three plays to make it 23-6. McCanles started the march with a 42-yard gain, before Michael Johnson gained 37 yards to the two. Johnson ended the lightning-quick effort from there and the lead was 17 with 7:53 left.

The Jays weren't done just yet, as a pass from Roberson to Davion Evans turned into a 70-yard gain to start a lightning-quick answer, a three-play scoring drive. Roberson, who threw for 188 yards, found Maleek Jackson on a 13-yard touchdown toss and it was 23-12 with 7:23 left.

Jefferson City recovered the ensuing onside kick and the flickering hopes were still alive. But two plays later, those hopes were doused when Roberson was intercepted for the fourth time, this one when the ball bounced off the intended receiver and into the hands of Ross Elder.

When you've lost 17 of 19, these things happen.

The Hawklets, who outgained the Jays 368-269, then went 69 yards to finish the scoring on a 1-yard run by McCanles with 2:01 left.

At this point, a losing season is basically unavoidable for the Jays, which would be their first in 12 years under head coach Ted LePage and the program's first since 2005. But this team is young and these players are getting better, especially on defense. That improvement is evidenced by last week's 31-14 win over highly-regarded Battle, and this effort Friday.

So who knows?

After all, every team in the state is 0-0.

Hawks handle Jays, but now this:
Every team in state is back to 0-0