Plattsburg stuns West Platte
By Cody Thorn The St. Joseph News-Press
The white Plattsburg Under Armour jerseys had more of a brown-tint by the end of Friday’s contest.
Even the black pants for the Tigers were caked in mud, the byproduct of a game played during a constant rainstorm for the first three quarters. Not even the trek up the large hill leading down to Rudolph Eskridge Stadium was much of a burden for Plattsburg after a 40-26 upset over Class 1 No. 7 West Platte.
The victory is the second of the season for the Tigers over a ranked team after they opened the campaign with an upset of Class 3 Cameron. This is a vastly different team under veteran coach Ron Musser, who has the Tigers now 5-3 overall and 3-3 in the KCI.
How much better is Plattsburg? They registered only six wins total the previous three years combined.
“It feels good, we are a completely different team,” said offensive lineman C.J. Graham. “We are playing well. It says a lot. It feels a lot different. Winning toward the end of the seasons is a lot different. It is good to be a senior like this.”
Tied at 20 at halftime, Plattsburg dominated the second half thanks to the rushing attack of LeAaron Hicks, the bruising 280-pound running back who finished with 211 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
A 30-yard run from Hicks on the second possession kick-started the first scoring drive in the third quarter. Hicks added runs of 11 and 26 yards and capped the drive with a 3-yard run to give the Tigers the lead back in what had been a see-saw battle up to that point.
After forcing West Platte (6-2, 4-2) to punt the next drive, Plattsburg took command.
Quarterback Daniel O’Connor went to the air and completed three of four passes, including a 37-yard strike to Erik Shoemaker, his second touchdown catch of the night.
With just more than 10 minutes left in the contest, Plattsburg had pushed the lead to 32-20.
Mason Cross’ second interception gave the Tigers the ball once more, this time it set up Hicks’ 27-yard touchdown that featured Hicks diving for the end zone with two players on his back.
“The offensive line did their job and made big holes,” Hicks said. “They did everything. I just ran it.”
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