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Hawklets Overwhelm and Shut Down Titans for First District ‘W’ in 4 Years

Senior quarterback Ethan Hansen and the rest of the offense await the play call during their district game against Lee’s Summit West on Nov. 3, 2023.

Rockhurst scored early and often to convincingly beat Lee’s Summit West 31-8 in the Class 6, District 6 Semifinals on Nov. 3, 2023. The district playoff win was the first in the Donohoe era and the first district playoff win since the 2019 season.

Lee’s Summit West (LSW) entered the game 7-2 and ranked No. 9 in the metro, according to 810 Varsity. Rockhurst came into the game 8-1 and ranked third. The game was highlighted by KCTV5 as its “Game of the Week.”

The start of the game was the perfect storm for Rockhurst, as Aidan Ryan scored on a sweep to cap off a long, 13-play drive. On the first West play from scrimmage, senior cornerback Ben Stringer picked off the Titan pass, setting up the Hawklets on the LSW 45-yard line. The ensuing Rockhurst drive ended with a fake sweep which turned into a 26-yard touchdown to senior wide receiver Maeson Tunley. Rockhurst then forced a 3-and-out to end the first quarter with the score of 14-0.

The second quarter continued the Rock dominance as they worked another long drive into a 3-yard touchdown run from Ryan.

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“I just executed the coaches’ game plan and running behind my o-line is easy because they’re a bunch of dogs up front,” Ryan said.

The Rock ‘D’ stood tall again forcing another 3-and-out. The offense then worked down to the Titan 19-yard line, thanks to a 48-yard connection from senior quarterback Ethan Hansen to Tunley. Senior kicker Logan Kuechler then split the uprights to extend the lead to 24-0 with 3:37 left in the half.

LSW responded with a quality drive to the Rockhurst 4-yard line. However, the defense held and forced a turnover on downs on 4th-and-goal to end the half.

In addition to not surrendering any points, the defense gave up just two first downs in the first half.

The offensive action slowed in the second half as neither team managed to score in the 3rd quarter. However, the defense remained a brick wall, and Stringer picked off a second Titan pass.

“This group has been working since the summer, and we’re happy all the work is paying off at the right time,” Stringer said.

The score stayed put at 24-0 entering the final quarter.

Both teams missed opportunities to put points on the board, as LSW missed a field goal, and RHS fumbled the ball inside the 30.

LSW then put together their only scoring drive, completing a 13-yard touchdown pass, followed by a 2-point conversion.

Rockhurst then responded with some big plays. Senior Pete Miroslaw hauled in the LSW onside kick, freshman wide receiver Blake Thomas picked up 4 yards in the red zone for his first varsity catch and senior tight end Mitch Forbes willed his way into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown reception with 3:45 left in the game.

The Rockhurst defense would become immovable one last time, forcing a LSW turnover on downs, giving the Hawklets their first win in a district game in four years, 31-8.



The last time Rockhurst and Lee’s Summit West faced off was in the 2018 district playoffs. The Hawklets won en route to a district championship and second place finish at state.


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About the Contributor
Eli Rourke, Staff Reporter
I’m a senior member of the Prep News Staff. I joined Prep News at the recommendation of fellow staff reporter, Mitch Forbes. I attended elementary school at Cure of Ars in Leawood, Kansas. This is my first year as a Prep News Staff Member. I joined Prep News because I want to know more about my community and maybe inform Rockhurst students about the happenings in and around the building. Outside of writing for the newspaper, I am a member of the basketball team, a Freshman Retreat Co-Chair, and an NHS Officer. I’m currently undecided on where I want to attend college. However, I am interested in studying finance.
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