West Platte pulls away from North Platte
By Jerry Keuhn Special to The St. Joseph News-Press
WESTON, Mo. — With North Platte threatening to come back from a first-half deficit, a bouncing ball fell the right way for the West Platte on Friday night. A fumble recovery provided the momentary windfall that allowed the Blue Jays to pull away for a 42-18 victory at West Platte High School, setting up an even bigger matchup next Thursday night.A bad snap went through the hands of Panthers quarterback Levi Hill that West Platte’s Brandon Searcy scooped up. He sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown and effectively put the game out of reach at 35-18 on the last play of the third period. “I saw (Hill) dive on it, and I thought he was going to get it,” Searcy said. “But then it squirted out, and I told myself I had to get the ball because it could change the game tremendously. Once I got it, I put the jets on and took off and didn’t stop until I crossed the goal line.” West Platte jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but North Platte’s punishing ground game allowed the Panthers to stay within striking distance at halftime, down 22-6. North Platte bounced back in the second half and after the opening kickoff, pounded the ball 69 yards, mostly on Zach Emmendorfer runs and capped with his smash-mouth run up the middle for 44 yards and a touchdown. North Platte recovered the ensuing kickoff, and seconds later, Emmendorfer rumbled 2 yards for his third touchdown, and all of a sudden it was 22-18. Emmendorfer finished with 191 yards on 26 carries. “We came out with intensity in the second half, and I felt like we had a good chance,” North Platte head coach Jim Brockhoff said. “We were running the ball effectively and finally had some positive things happen.”
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