The road to victory

The score is 24-17. The clock is ticking, and the Hickman Kewpies are quickly approaching the end zone with each play. A pass is made, and the ball ends up at the 8-yard line with a little over 10 seconds to spare. The final play begins, and the opposing quarterback throws the ball over and past the Spartans’ defense. As the ball nears the opposing wide receiver’s grasp, the ball is blocked, the time dies out and the buzzer goes off. Beginning their district tournament right, the Spartans defeated the Hickman Kewpies with a score of 24-17.

Witnessing the play from the field itself, senior offensive right guard Shaun Murphy commented on the intensity of the final seconds and the excitement flowing through him at that moment in the game.

“Obviously you have to be nervous, but I had faith in our defense,” said Murphy. “You just have to put your faith in [your teammates].”

The Spartans started the game off with a successful first quarter. Despite letting up on a play four minutes into the game which let Hickman score a touchdown, the team recovered later in the quarter. With a series of successful plays, another two touchdowns were able to be made by senior running back Kendall Morris. The second quarter was relatively slow, with the exception of an 18-yard field goal made by Hickman in the middle of the second quarter.

The game picked up momentum in the later half of the game, with both teams making progress in the third quarter. In the last four minutes of the third, senior quarterback Brody Allen was able to run the ball for 38 yards into the end zone. Several minutes later, Hickman recovered with a touchdown of its own, bringing the score to 21-17, still in the Spartans’ favor.

The fourth quarter proved to be successful for the Spartans. The team scored another three points from a field goal made by senior kicker Ben Burns three minutes into the final quarter.

The heat finally came though when the Kewpies began executing a series of plays that earned them a place at the 8-yard line. With 10 seconds to spare, the dramatic play was executed, but ultimately failed to stop the Spartans from winning.

Relaxing from the intense moment, Head Coach Todd Berck described the thoughts running through his head as the final play was being made.

“To be honest, what was racing through my mind was watching Mizzou last Saturday lose the game on fourth and fifteen with a plain man [in sight] and a guy wide open in the end zone,” said Coach Berck. “ I was like ‘I’m not going to let that happen. We’re going to play zone; we’re going to play back; we’re going to make them beat us with a jump ball or a pass. We’re not going to let people be wide open and free.’ The kids did a good job of executing.”

Murphy emphasized the importance of the team’s preparation for the game and how their practice this week will affect their performance going forward.

“We saw what a good week of practice does, and we’re just going to play another good team, so we need another great week of practice,” said Murphy. “We still have to learn, even in week 11, we still have to get better.”

Next Friday, the Spartans play the Rock Bridge Bruins (currently 5-5) for their next district match at 7 p.m. at Don Muench Memorial Stadium. The Bruins defeated Jefferson City 48-18 to advance to the game. The Spartans and Bruins had two opponents in common this year, Fort Zumwalt West and Hickman. Both teams defeated those two schools.


Live tweets over the game against Hickman from our twitter account can be found here at:, as well as from activites director Scott Harris at: