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Kuechler’s Kick Lifts Hawklets Over Bentonville

The Hawklets took the show on the road last Friday as they handed Bentonville (Ark.) their second loss of the season, and improved to 3-1 on the year. A swing of Logan Kuechler’s right leg made the difference as the senior kicker split the uprights from 41 yards out to give the Hawklets the 24-21 victory.

“It was a total team win,” Kuechler said. “Seeing the kick go through and all of my teammates and coaches celebrating is something I’ll probably never forget.”

Kuechler is no stranger to clutch kicks, as he also hit a game-winner last year to beat St. Louis University High School in overtime.

The game started off as a defensive battle in the first quarter, which ended in a scoreless tie. The action began at the 10-minute mark in the second quarter when Bentonville put together a sustained drive, working the ball down to the Hawklet 7-yard line. However, junior linebacker Jeb Koetting put an abrupt end to the threat when he cut in front of a third down slant route and intercepted the pass.

The Hawklets capitalized off this turnover when senior quarterback Ethan Hansen connected with senior wide receiver Micah Oder for a 47-yard touchdown. 

“We dialed up a great play for the defense they were running,” Oder said. “It was a great throw and I was just able to come down with the ball.”

On the first play of the ensuing Bentonville possession, the Hawklets recorded yet another interception when senior linebacker Thomas Coppinger made a diving catch near the sideline to turn possession back over to the Hawklets.

The Hawklets made quick work of their next possession, as Hansen found senior receiver Miles Carson in the end zone for a 36-yard score. 

Bentonville was able to begin digging its way out of the 14-0 deficit on the following possession, putting together a touchdown drive of their own. The Hawklets took the 14-7 lead into the intermission.

Bentonville responded early in the third quarter, striking on a 62-yard designed quarterback run. This tied the game up at 14 all. The defenses stepped up for the rest of the third quarter as no more points were scored.

The Hawklets began the fourth quarter with a long touchdown drive capped off with a seven-yard score from senior running back Aidan Ryan.

“The linemen did a great job blocking,” Ryan said. “I thought it was important for us to get the lead back in the fourth quarter. It’s always better to play from ahead, so it was good to get in the end zone.”

But Bentonville responded with a rushing touchdown of their own, scoring from four yards out to tie the game again.

Bentonville stopped the Hawklets’ next drive, and got the ball back with just over a minute left in the game. They drove the ball down to the Hawklet 47-yard line before Coppinger cut in front of a receiver for his second pick of the night.

“It was important to get the interception to stop their momentum,” Coppinger said. “I wanted to give our offense a chance to go down the field and win it.”

The interception gave the Hawklets 30 seconds to put together a game winning drive. The crucial play of the drive was an 18-yard completion from Hansen to senior wide receiver Maeson Tunley to set up the 41-yard field goal try.

Bentonville called back-to-back timeouts in an attempt to ice Kuechler, but they were unsuccessful in doing so. The packed crowd was sent home disappointed, and the Hawklets enjoyed the bus ride home to the 816.

“I was just able to keep my composure,” Kuechler said. “I was happy I was able to step up and end the game. I just did my job.”

The Hawklets will be back at Severino Field this Friday when they take on Bishop Miege. Rockhurst will try to hand Miege its first loss of the season.

 

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About the Contributor
Mitch Forbes
Mitch Forbes, Staff Reporter
What’s up? I’m Mitch Forbes. I am a senior and this is my second year writing on the Prep News staff. I joined the staff last year to help improve my essays in my English classes. However, I learned that the whole process of writing a story was actually pretty fun. I enjoyed it so much last year that I chose to do it over again. Student journalism also looks good on college applications, which doesn’t hurt. I am also a part of the football and basketball teams here at Rockhurst. I am undecided on where I want to attend college, but I plan on studying either journalism or business wherever I go.
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