Staley overcomes penalties, mistakes for win

Grace Andrews/PrepsKC

By Matt Mitchell PrepsKC Staff Wrter
Posted: October 13, 2010 - 9:19 AM

Turnovers and penalties ruled Friday night as Staley outlasted a tough Park Hill South squad 19-10 at Park Hill District Stadium.

Staley overcame three first half turnovers that led directly to all 10 Park Hill South points. A 6-yard Morgan Steward touchdown run with 1:08 to play in the half gave Staley the lead for good at 14-10.

The teams combined for four turnovers in the first half, and played mostly turnover free until a Staley interception late in the fourth quarter.

“We had some turnovers which kind of affected us,” Steward said, “but we kept it going, kept our mind straight.”

Staley Quarterback Michael Rich, who had ran it in from 27 yards to open the scoring, fumbled deep inSouth territory. Ryan Lowe scooped it up and rumbled 79 yards to the house to tie it up at seven apiece.

Rich threw his second interception of the half to Jay Carlson in Staley territory. That led to Carlson's own 41 yard field goal to make it 10-7 South.

Jadkson Long had Park Hill South's first interception of the night, which ended a second quarter scoring threat.

Staley Head Coach Fred Bouchard said he didn't make any adjustments for the turnovers.

“We just tried to really do what we do,” Bouchard said. “We tried to even come back and run that play that we turned the ball over.”

Park Hill South (4-3) wasn't able to establish the run effectively in the first half, but did have some success in the passing game.

Jason Thetford hit Bobby O'Connor for 33 yards in the first quarter. But the drive ended when Thetford threw an interception of his own. The Panthers' offense showed no signs of consistency.

“Our next step as a program,” said Park Hill South Head Coach Mark Simcox, “is to take a game like this and turn it around. Make it 19-10 on them.”

If turnovers were the story of the first half, then penalties were the story of the second. The teams combined for 14 penalties, 9 in the second half. The penalties disrupted the flow of the game, as there were 24 points scored in the first half, but only five in the second.

There could have been even more penalties. Staley burned all three of their timeouts in the third quarter when they were unable to get proper personnel and alignment on the field.

The Falcons drove 73 yards on their opening drive of the second half. But Steward was stuffed at the Park Hill South 2-yard line on fourth and goal. The score remained 14-10.

The opening drive took up six minutes, 38 seconds. Staley seemed determined to chew up clock the entire second half.

South's punt was blocked by Long on the next possession and when the South player who recovered the ball was tackled in the endzone it gave Staley a safety to make it 16-10 with 3:45 left in the third quarter.

It remained a 1 score game until Michael Brinkmeyer connected on a 31 yard field goal with 1:34 to play. That final drive for Staley took over five minutes off the clock and forced Park Hill South to use up their final two timeouts, deflating any hopes of late game heroics for the Panthers.

“We beat a quality football team,” Bouchard said.

Steward finished with 168 yards on 25 carries and a score to lead the Falcons (5-1).

Park Hill South begins district play next week at North Kansas City while Staley returns to Park Hill District Stadium to take on Park Hill in their district.