Late takeoff doesn't slow Park Hill

PrepsKC staff

By Cole Young PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 4, 2015 - 10:07 PM



If Park Hill wants to see film of what things look like when it isn’t playing to its potential, the team will likely watch the first quarter of the game against Belton.

If the Trojans want to see just how good they can be, they’ll flip on the second quarter.

Behind a 24-point second quarter, the Trojans steamrolled Belton 45-7.

“I would say that we came out a little slow because we weren’t focused,” said Park Hill running back and receiver DJ Johnson. “Eventually we came together in the second quarter and knew we needed to focus up.”

Johnson had a lot to do with the big quarter.

After not touching the ball in the first quarter he did all of his damage in the high-scoring quarter. In all he hauled in four passes for 74 yards and ran the ball four times for 107 yards and two touchdowns – all in the second quarter.

Add in 129 passing yards from Parker Sampson and 86 rushing yards from Zach Neal in the first half and the Trojans entered the locker room with 322 first half yards.

“Here’s the thing,” Park Hill coach Josh Hood said. “When we talked to our guys all week long we’ve done a good job of fixing fundamentals.  We are great from the snap to the whistle, but we have to focus from the whistle to the snap. We are still jumping off sides and doing things like that. It had irritated us all week.

“The kids fixed it on their own and when they finished they were able to see what kind of roll they could get on.”

The Trojans took all the momentum into the half. With just 1:52 left in the second quarter, Sampson knocked in a 20-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-0. The Trojans seemed content to take that lead, but the Trojan defense forced a three and out, giving the offense the ball at midfield with 52 seconds left.

Johnson needed only 20 of those seconds, scoring on two plays, capped by a 35-yard touchdown run.

Belton received the second half kickoff hoping to get on the board and build some momentum, instead on its opening drive things went from bad to worse. After a quick stop by the Trojans, the Pirates punt was blocked into the end zone where Tre Tucker jumped on the ball to extend the lead to 31, ending any real comeback hopes.

“That was important,” Hood said of the special teams score. “There were a lot of guys we’d like to get rest for. We have a tough stretch coming up. So we were able to do that.”