Park Hill pulls away from Liberty
By SJ Munoz PrepsKC staff writer
The game was up for grabs late into the second half before Park Hill made the plays down the stretch to top Liberty 20-10 Friday night at Park Hill District Stadium.
Neither team appeared able to get into a rhythm making points even that much more critical.
"The penalties have to go and that's something we have to change if we are going to move up to that next level," Park Hill coach Josh Hood said. "There's been a couple games now where we've struggled in the red zone as far as just punching the football in. We have to grow up starting week five and make a change. It's all mental. We have good football players and they showed it in the second half."
Liberty took the first lead of the game after coming up with an interception deep in their own territory on the first drive of the game.
The Blue Jays drove down the field with Drew Mackie's field goal giving them the 3-0 lead with 7:14 to go in the first.
Liberty remained in front until the 9:47 mark of the second when the Trojans went up top and Billy Maples connected with Quinton Harris on a 39-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed and it was 6-3 Park Hill.
Untimely penalties and miscues continued to plague both sides and the Trojans took the three-point edge into the final 12 minutes.
In the fourth, Park Hill distanced themselves with back-to-back scores. Zach Neal plunged into the end zone from two yards out, two seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Trojans a 13-3 lead.
Park Hill's defense made the next play as Devin Haney took an INT to the house making it a 17-point lead for the home team.
Liberty tried to rally late move back within 10 (20-10) on a TD pass with 3:17 to go.
The Blue Jays (0-4) then forced a punt and took over with 2:10 left before the Trojans' defense, which held Liberty to 195 yards of offense, sealed the win with another interception their third of the night.
"It's on me and our coaching staff to find a way to eliminate penalties and find a way to score early in football games," Hood said. "This is not the way we want to do business. We're OK with where we are (3-1) we are just not pleased with the way we got here."
Class 5, No. 5 Park Hill, who plays rival Park Hill South (0-4) next week, gained 333 yards of offense led through the air by Maples throwing for 186 yards and Harris catching five passes for 101 yards.
Liberty was penalized 14 times for 125 yards, while Park Hill committed nine penalties.
The Blue Jays hosts Truman (3-1) next week.
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