Truman holds off Park Hill South
By Shawn Roney The Examiner
Typically, Jordan Salima doesn’t return kickoffs.
Friday night against Park Hill South, however, the Truman senior returned one that may have been a game-changer in the Patriots’ 27-21 win over Friday night at Independence All-School Stadium.
With 4:58 to play in the Suburban Middle Six meeting and South coming off a 21-point, fourth-quarter scoring tear for a to cut the Truman lead from 27-0 to 27-21, the Panthers booted a pooch kick. Salima muffed the catch, but scooped up the football at the Truman 21-yard line and returned the kickoff 51 yards. From there, the Patriots ran out the remaining 4:44, with Salima contributing 19 yards on six carries in his usual role at running back to finish with 197 yards and four touchdowns on 37 carries.
Anger partly drove Salima to make the return.
“They kept scoring and we couldn’t stop them – and it was a closer game than it needed to be,” he said.
He said his body was full of adrenaline and it sparked his return. Patriots coach Gregg Webb’s call in the team’s sideline huddle “to make a play” also motivated him, Salima suggested.
“We had to get momentum going,” Salima said.
Webb, who said the win was another example of Truman finding ways to make any game interesting, called the return huge.
“If they tackle him down there on the 20, then it gets really tough,” he said. “Then, your kids are a little skittish and they’ve got to hold onto the ball and we’ve got to get a first down. That play kind of makes our year.”
Park Hill South coach Mike Sharp said that the return provided a momentum swing.
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