Hickman is prepared for last road game of the season

3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago Thursday, October 17 2019 Oct 17, 2019 Thursday, October 17, 2019 11:33:21 PM CDT October 17, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
By: Joseph Hernandez, Columbia Missourian

Hickman coach Cedric Alvis isn’t going to Kansas City for barbeque.

While Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que would be his choice, it’s another business trip for the Kewpies (2-5), as they are on the road for a Friday matchup against Truman (1-6).

Truman was shut out last week by Park Hill South, losing 38-0, while Hickman lost its opportunity to shock the Missouri high school football world in the final seconds, falling to undefeated North Kansas City 38-35.

Both teams have something to prove come Friday and by the end of the night, one of them will have put an end to its losing streak.

Despite losing its Homecoming game, there were a lot of positives that Hickman coaches took away from the player’s performances. The team has been able to move the ball on offense at a consistent pace on the ground.

Senior running back Felix Pippenger had 177 yards on 27 carries with two touchdowns, and senior quarterback Jevean Brown added 72 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown that tied the game in the fourth quarter.

The high numbers in the running game are not possible without the improvements on the offensive line. Will Schommer, Zeke Arnold, Brandon Rhen, Declan Irelan and Adison Barnett-Hill have stepped their games up and are playing at high levels at the right moment.

“The players have come together and we work more as a unit now,” Irelan said. “It’s more of a brotherhood among the O-line and everyone on the team.”

The offensive line continuing to play at this level is going to be key for its upcoming game against the Patriots. It’s going to be another intense game for Hickman, as it’ll match ing up with a Truman team that has size on the defensive line and is known to be physical.

On the defensive side, it’s about getting back to the basics and working on the fundamentals of the game.

That includes tackling, a key aspect of the game that Hickman has struggled with the past few weeks. The Kewpies have allowed 100-yard rushing performances in their past two games, with North Kansas City having two players go for 134 yards and 130 yards, respectively.

Hickman had North Kansas City on third-and-short numerous times throughout the game and could not get the defense off the field because it could not bring the ball carrier down.

Broken tackles, jukes and all kinds of evasive maneuvers that opposing offenses put on the Kewpie defense have kept them out of the win column and is something that will have to stop.

Assistant coach Kole Hinton said that the team has done a nice job of playing its style of football and has found its identity in the past few games, with the focus now being on ironing out the wrinkles.

Hickman will have the perfect opportunity to iron out its wrinkles at 7 p.m. Friday in Independence.

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