Platte County stuns St. Joe Central with rally

By Randy Speer The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: August 29, 2015 - 12:19 AM

Platte County rallied to beat Central 41-34 on a 24-point fourth quarter rally.

Junior quarterback Justin Mitchell helped string together four fourth-quarter drives to give the Pirates their second win of the season.

“Justin has a tremendous competitive nature and is a great leader, and gets things done, but he’d be the first to tell you that the whole team stepped up and played really well there at the end,” said Platte County coach Bill Utz.

Mitchell finished 19 of 40 for 264 yards and three touchdowns in addition to 137 yards on the ground and a touchdown.

The fourth-quarter rally started with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to junior Carter Nugent. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Pirates trailing 34-23.

Platte County sophomore Jamil Jones recovered an onside kick, setting up the Pirates’ offense at the Central 47-yard line.

“Coming off a big score, and getting (the onside kick) is a great momentum shift for us,” Utz said. “You could really feel it shift for us.”

A defensive unsportsmanlike conduct penalty tacked on to a 21-yard completion pushed the Pirates down to the 8-yard line, but they could not find the end zone. They settled for a field goal and closed the gap to one possession.

After forcing Central to punt, Mitchell led the team back down the field, capped off by an 18-yard run by the quarterback. Mitchell then connected with senior Alex Minter for the two-point conversion to tie the game back up at 34-34.

Platte County’s junior Kevin Neal picked off a tipped pass from Central’s Jacob Hess on the following Indians possession. Mitchell then connected with Minter for the third passing touchdown and second caught by Minter.

Sophomore Kobe Cummings saved the win for Platte County with a tackle of Central’s running back Israel Smith.

Central’s Cade Musser took a handoff 60 yards trailing 41-34 to put the Indians in striking distance. Two plays later, Smith lined up in the wildcat formation, but a high snap tipped off his hands and traveled 10 yards behind him.

Cummings wrapped up Smith in the open field. The following play, a heave into the back of the end zone was knocked down, ending any hope of a Central comeback.

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