Park Hill topples St. Joe Central
By SJ Munoz PrepsKC staff writer
What goes around comes around.
At least that was the case with turnovers during Friday night's contest between Park Hill and St. Joseph Central at Park Hill District Stadium.
Fortunately for Park Hill, their miscues happened early enough to overcome as the Trojans rallied for the 38-24 win over the Indians to improve to 7-1 on the season.
Down by seven points (24-17) late in the third, the momentum went the way of the Trojans after being largely on the visiting sideline for most of the game.
With less 59 seconds to go in the third, Billy Maples threw a 15-yard TD pass to Quinton Harris to tie the game.
Just nine seconds later, the Trojans recovered a fumble at the Central 20. Maples threw for another score and Park Hill took their first lead since the first quarter at 31-24.
The barrage continued for Park Hill early into the fourth as they scooped up another Central fumble. It took the Trojans less than one minute to cash in as Maples ran it in from nine yards out and gave Park Hill the 38-24 lead, which they held the rest of the way.
"Our kids did a great job responding to adversity and we've had a couple of those instances this year," Park Hill head coach Josh Hood said. "We told them we were right where we want to be at halftime, we just have to eliminate our mistakes and we did that. It was good to see what the kids can do when they had to muster up some strength at halftime. Hopefully we don't have to do this very often, but we know if that comes up in the playoffs again our kids know how to respond."
Central took advantage of opportunities when they were presented in the first half and built a double-digit lead on the strength of four Park Hill turnovers.
The first opportunity came off a muffed punt by the Trojans. Central followed up that recovery, at the Park Hill 9, with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Hess to Gage Stagner.
Trailing 7-0, Park Hill got on the board with just under five minutes to play in the first. Parker Sampson's 39-yard field goal made it 7-3.
The Trojans scored again less than two minutes later on a 15-yard completion from Maples to Harris and led 10-7.
The next 14 points were scored by the Indians.
With 1:22 to go in the first, running back Israel Smith blasted through the Trojans defense for 49 yards and a TD. The score put Central ahead 14-10.
Park Hill attempted a fake punt to open the second quarter, but the Indians were ready and intercepted a short pass and ran it back to the Trojans 6. Hess threw his second TD pass after a turnover, connecting with Remington Roderick to make it 21-10.
The Trojans climbed back to within four at the 4:01 mark of the quarter on a 12-yard rushing TD by Dorian Clayton.
Central had the final word of the half however as Austin Jackson hammered home a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the second giving the Indians a 24-17 halftime edge.
The Park Hill offense was led by Maples, who threw for 182 yards and three scores, and Clayton's 17 carries for 168 yards and one TD.
Park Hill, ranked fifth in Class 5, will close the regular season on the road at Truman (7-1) with the Suburban Middle Six title on the line as both team enter that game at 4-0 in league play.
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