Park Hill can be as explosive of a team as you’ll find in Class 6 and that was on display in the first half of the Trojans 21-10 victory over Liberty on Friday night at Liberty High School.
Park Hill came up with back-to-back scores in the final three minutes of the first quarter and added another touchdown in the final two minutes of the first half to seize control.
After the Bluejays took the 3-0 lead on a 23-yard field goal by Alek Rottjakob the Trojans quickly answered.
Just over one minute later, Anthony Hall's 72-yard bomb to Jaylin Noel gave Park Hill the 7-3 advantage with 2:48 to go in the first.
On Liberty’s next possession the Trojans’ special teams came up big, blocking a punt and recovering it inside the red zone. Park Hill (2-0) cashed in on the sudden change with a 5-yard TD run by Eric Carey to go on top 14-3.
Noel found the end zone again on a sensational sprint after the catch down the visiting sideline for 37 yards pushing the lead to 21-3.
"We didn't maintain the clock like we wanted to this week, but our defense came to play and had a great energy and mentality on that side of the ball," Park Hill head coach Josh Hood said, "We have to do a better job of not leaving points on the field going forward. We have some guys that are big-play, explosive guys and we also have some guys that can grind it out. Now we need to put both of those together.
Every week is going to be a battle with our schedule that's as tough as any in the state."
Liberty rallied late as Bluejays' junior QB Luke Smith hit Caleb Cahill on an 11-yard TD pass with 1:14 to play to make it an 11-point game. The comeback looked to be on as Liberty recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Park Hill got a fumble recovery of their own on the very next play ending the comeback attempt.
The No. 8 team in Class 6, Park Hill, will be back in Liberty again next Friday as they play Liberty North. Liberty (1-1) travels to Truman.