Park Hill bounces back with win over PH South
By SJ Munoz PrepsKC Senior Writer
It was everything a rivalry should be. Big plays, turnovers and lead changes were all part of the battle for bragging rights between Park Hill and Park Hill South.
What's more, the game came down to the final seconds with the Trojans thwarting a two-point conversion attempt by the Panthers with just six seconds left in the game to preserve the 24-23 win.
"I think last week helped us to find a way to get through adversity," Park Hill head coach Josh Hood said. "We weren't in an ideal situation at halftime, but the kids were in a good position to change the momentum in the second half. We brought some energy and got the ball in the right guys' hands. The defense stepped up as they always do and did so to the last snap."
The Trojans dictated the flow of the game in the first half before South turned the tide by scoring three times in the final 7:35 of the half.
Park Hill's first score came at the 6:03 mark of the first quarter. Trojans running back Zach Suppes plunged in from one-yard out to make it 7-0.
The Panthers got on the board via field goal on 4th-and-3 by Stephen Personelli to cut the lead to four (7-3). Just over four minutes later, South QB Zach Suchanick hit Dillon Thomas for a 32-yard scoring strike to put the Panthers up 10-7.
Momentum went the way of the visitors once more before the half as the Panthers blocked a Park Hill field goal attempt and Jake Karns scooped it up and returned it 59 yards for the score.
At halftime, South led 17-7.
The Trojans found their success through the air in the second half as a long bomb from junior quarterback Billy Maples to senior wide receiver Quinton Harris setup Suppes' second score on a 4th-and-1 to make it 17-14 with less than five minutes left in the third.
With 9:02 left in the game, Maples went back to Harris on a 22-yard TD strike that gave the Trojans the lead back at 21-17.
"We saw on film they like to press receivers and we have big playmakers on the outside, when we got a chance we made plays," Harris said. "At halftime we knew we had to correct our mental mistakes and we came out and did that in the second half."
Park Hill stretched the lead to seven (24-17) on a field goal by senior Parker Sampson with 3:21 to play.
Even still, the Panthers had more than enough time to drive down the field and give themselves a chance to win. Suchanick's touchdown run from the 2 had the Panthers one play from the win, but the Trojans defended home turf stopping South short on the PAT.
"It's a great rivalry our kids always want to win," Park Hill South head coach Mike Sharp said. "It was a great atmosphere and unfortunately we couldn't get the win, but we were right there. Three yards away. This is a credit to our kids and how they practice. Park Hill's a great football team and has been for several years. There's nothing to hang our heads about. We have to be ready to compete next week."
Park Hill moves to 2-1 on the season as they travel to Blue Springs next week, while South (2-1) welcomes St. Joseph Central to Park Hill District Stadium.
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