By Max Goodwin
On Saturday, No. 15 Avila lost its first football game in more than a year, falling at home to No. 21 Southwestern, 34-26
The Avila Eagles are now 3-1 this season with wins over Tabor College, Ottawa University, and Bethany College. The Eagles were in a deep hole in the fourth quarter against Southwestern, down 34-10 after Southwestern scored a touchdown on their first possession of the quarter.
Avila showed some resilience in responding with two touchdowns, and two good two-point conversions, to make the score 34-26 with three minutes left in the game. Avila then stopped Southwestern and got the ball back. Avila received the ball on its own 19-yard line and moved the ball to the Southwestern 29-yard line as the clock slipped away.
On 2nd and 4, junior quarterback Peyton Burke dropped back deep, then rolled out of the pocket to his left, but found himself in the grasp of Southwestern defensive end Jakharious Smith, who sacked for a deflating 15-yard loss. Burke threw an incomplete pass to the sidelines on the next play and then Southwestern got home once again for another sack of nine yards.
After the game, Avila head coach Marc Benavidez tweeted, “Hats off to SC. Tough loss. It’s on me. On to the next…” And next up for Avila is a game at Sterling College on October 2.
Rockhurst High School
After a tough 0-3 start to the season, against a difficult set of early games, Rockhurst found itself desperately needing to get into the win column. Rockhurst earned that first win of the season September 17 against Blue Springs South, 21-7, with senior running back Joe Leggio running for 139 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
The Hawklets followed that first win with another this past weekend, beating cross-state rival Bishop Miege, 24-21. Rockhurst is now 2-3 this season, facing a matchup this Friday at home against Lee’s Summit West.
Grandview High School
After opening the season with a win over Truman, the Bulldogs dropped three games in a row, capped with the home loss to Winnetonka, 24-20. The game was a heartbreaker for Grandview, as they blocked a kick in the fourth quarter and returned it for an apparent touchdown, only for the play to be called back because a referee’s whistle had already blown the play dead. It was a tough break for the Bulldogs, as the score could have turned the game in their favor.
But the Bulldogs picked things up this past week, beating Raytown South, 35-20, and moving their season record to 2-3 as they travel to Smithville for this week’s game.
Center High School
The Center Yellowjackets have opened the season looking like one of the stronger teams in the area, but at 3-0 with a matchup against Excelsior Springs scheduled for September 17, the game had to be canceled as we’ve seen the pandemic continue to cause difficulties for teams.
Basehor-Linwood had also had its game canceled. So, a game was rescheduled between Center and Basehor-Linwood. Center lost by a touchdown, dropping to 3-1 this season.
The Yellowjackets were forced to cancel the game this past Friday against Warrensburg and shut down practice due to Covid exposure within the team. Center will hopefully continue its season against Harrisonville this Friday.
Ruskin High School
The Golden Eagles picked up its first and only win so far of the season at Wyandotte back on September 9. Ruskin is now 1-3 on the season with losses to Belton, Kearney, and most recently this past Saturday against Winnetonka, 26-13. Ruskin played well for nearly three quarters, with the game tied in the third quarter, 13-13, before Winnetonka ran away with the win.
Ruskin will host a good Platte County team that is 3-2 with a win earlier this season over Grandview, 24-7, before the Golden Eagles play at Grandview on October 8.