Thirty-four years have passed since SM East has played Rockhurst on the gridiron. To put that in perspective, Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller” came out in 1982, and Epcot had just opened at Walt Disney World in Orlando the same year.
Today’s game will arguably be the biggest matchup for the East football team since the state title game in 2014. Pre-sale tickets sold out by 7:20 a.m. They opened at 7:00 a.m. Associate principal Jeffrey Storey dispersed a crowd of ticket goers at lunch, all hoping to get one of the sought after tickets. The Rockhurst stadium can hold a total of 4,500 people at a normal game, but additional bleachers are being put in to attempt to fit 10,000 people in.
Coach Dustin Delaney and the rest of the football staff have been focusing their team on this game and have stressed how important the game is to the team since the summer.
“We have had our sights set on week three since summer camps,” senior Peter Haynes said. “Everyone on the team knows the importance of this game.”
Both teams match up well with each other for the most part, excluding the offensive and defensive lines. According to Haynes, Rockhurst has a size advantage on East, with multiple 300-pound linemen lining up for the Rock. Other than that, the skill positions match up well with Rockhurst, according to junior running back Milton Braasch.
Expect a close game between the two rivals. The schools have been waiting for three decades to play each other, and the day has finally come. The East football team comes prepared for what lies ahead of them, a fierce matchup.
“We are as prepared as we can be for the game,” Braasch said. “It’s going to be a dogfight, expect it to come down the final minutes of the game.”
Rockhurst and East are ranked first and second in the metro respectively. A recent Twitter poll conducted by 810 Varsity shows that Rockhurst has a slightly better chance to win. 1688 voters voted in the poll, with 51 percent saying Rockhurst would win, while 49 percent said East would win. The closeness of the poll indicates that the game could be an instant classic.