Platte County blanks Winnetonka

By Joe Caronia PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: September 19, 2015 - 12:44 AM

Two members of the Suburban Small 6 started with a weather delay during warm-ups. The game was delayed 41 minutes, but it did not matter as the Platte County Pirates shutout the Winnetonka Griffins 36-0.

After the Griffins committed a turnover in their own territory the Pirates offense could not move the ball and settled for a 34 yard field goal from Parker Lacina.

The Pirates then forced the Griffins to punt. Junior quarterback Justin Mitchell mixed the run and pass to move the ball down to the Griffins 9 yard line, where he rolled right and threw a scoring strike to Alex Minter. Lacina converted the kick, and the score at the end of the first quarter the Pirates led 10-0.

The Griffins had a chance to score before the half ended. After a pass interference call put the ball on the 10 yard line, the Griffins tried a field goal but a personal foul penalty backed them up and on the final play of the half James McMullen attempted a 53 yard field goal that was off target.

On the opening drive of the second half Mitchell scored on a 23 yard keeper. The two point run was no good. The highlight play on the drive happened on 3rd and 5 from the 50. The snap went over Mitchell’s head and with both teams in pursuit, Mitchell calmly picked up the ball twenty yards behind the line of scrimmage and completed the pass for a first down.

When head coach Bill Utz was asked about that play he smiled, “When I watched the ball go over his head I thought, Holy Cow, disaster. But that thought changes when I see him pick it up and turn around. Now I’m thinking something is going to happen, it may be bad, it may be out of bounds, but he, (Mitchell) doesn’t surprise me.”

The Griffins showed life as Mingus Craddock went 70 yards on a sweep, but the Griffins fumbled on the next play.

The Pirates took the turnover and drove down to the Griffins 5 yard line. On 4th down Mitchell rolled right and scrambled to buy time as Minter worked to get open, as the two teammates hooked up for their second score. The Pirates again tried a 2 point conversion but the Griffins knocked the pass to the turf. After 3 quarters the score was Pirates 22, Griffins 0.

The duo of Mitchell and Minter weren't finished yet, with 9:59 Minter caught a pass at midfield and ran to the corner of end zone and dove for the pylon to complete a 61 yard score. Lacina converted the point after.

After an interception gave the ball back to the Pirates, Utz reached into his bag of tricks as Mitchell faked a pass and Willie Smith took the ball on a perfect “Statue of Liberty” play and ran 6 yards for the final touchdown. Lacina converted again for the final point of the game.

Utz heaped praise on his defense after the game, “Winnetonka has some great skill kids, that can do some good things, I thought or defense stepped up and played a really nice game. They had a good game plan, I have tremendous coaches on both sides of the ball, and they had a good plan and the kids lived up to it.”

The Pirates look to remain undefeated as the Belton Pirates travel to Platte County next week, The Griffins fall to 1-4 and they will be on the road at Kearny next week.