North Kansas City tops Oak Park for first win

By Scott Kendall PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 9, 2016 - 10:26 PM

North Kansas City hosted Oak Park on night where both teams were 0-3. Someone was going home with 4 loses and one team with 1 win. Which team would it be? This game was a weird one to say the least. There was a passing TD, a receiving TD, a punt return for TD, a defensive fumble recovery for TD and two ejections.

In the end it was North Kansas City who earned its first win of the year topping its district rival 37-12.

North Kansas City started off with the ball and on their 2nd-drive of the game, punt returned Rasean Weathers broke off a 73-yard TD run down the right side of the field. He broke one tackle and then he off to the races. Yasin Khalifah finished off the drive with the extra point and the Hornets took an early 7-0 lead.

On North Kansas City's kickoff, it seemed as if no one wanted the ball on the Oak Park side and Micha Weakly fell on top of the live ball and NKC was looking at great field position on Oak Park's own 42-yard line. The Hornets picked up 2-first downs, but Oak Park’s defense held their own at 4th-and-3 on their own 8-yard line and forced NKC a turn-over-on-downs.

Oak Park put up one of their best drives of the day, a 10-play drive, 92-yards, finished off with a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Andrew Harris. Izzie Esteban's extra-point was no good, but Oak Park was determined to get back in this game.

Oak Park's defense allowed only 47-yards on 15 plays over the next 5-drives by North Kansas City. Oak Park hadn't moved the ball much either and were happy to go into the half down by only 1-point. There were 2.7 seconds left on the clock and punter Gavin Hausmann took the ball and ran to his right, it looked as if the defender tried to tackle him by his horse collar and then the clock buzzer went off and Hausmann dropped the ball. Austin Hart of North Kansas City picked up the live ball and ran the ball 40+ yards to the house. Oak Park took a 14-6 lead going into the half.

How would Oak Park respond to the devastating points that they gave up to end the 1st-half? Oak Park started with the ball and North Kansas City was ready to play, forcing a 3-and-out. It took North Kansas City 1-play and a 51-yard scamper from Damon Whitmill, extra-point from Khalifah was good, giving the Hornets a 20-6 advantage.

But, Oak Park would answer with a 4-play, 69-yards, in 74-seconds with a 25-yard run by Remington Brelsford. The 2-point conversion attempt was foiled, but Oak Park was back in the game, down only 8-point.

On the Hornets next drive, they looked like they were about to put the Northmen out of commission with a 14-play drive over 5:12. But the defense of the Northmen had other plans and stopped the Hornets and forced a punt, however Oak Park was unable to come up with points on their next possession.

To this point, the game was very exciting and it looked like Oak Park was going to give North Kansas City a game, but things were about to go way wrong for Oak Park. On North Kansas City's next drive, they would put together a 8-play, 45-yards, 2:20 drive that resulted in a TD run from 4-yards out by Whitmill, extra-point was good by Khalifah and the Hornets were up 27-12 with the whole 4th quarter to go.

Oak Park would turn the ball over on a bad snap by the center and North Kansas City would start on Oak Park's 37-yard line. 9-play later, Khalifah would chip in a 26-yard field goal giving the Hornets a 30-12 lead with 4:51 left in the game.

On Oak Parks next possession, Craig Travis would know the ball out of ball carrier Andrew Harris' arms and Adetomiwa Adebawore would pick up the loose ball on Oak Parks own 18-yard line. North Kansas City would punch in the TD with an 11-yard hook up with Caleb Mendoza from Maxwell Franklin. Extra-point by Khalifah is good and North Kansas City would ultimately take home the victory with a 37-12 victory.

In the end, Oak Park's offense could not get going in the right direction; they didn't play too bad and actually averaged 5.4 yards/carry. Quarterback, Andrew Harris, went 4-8 for 39-ydards and rushed the ball 15 times for 57-yards and the one TD on the ground. Forrest Rhea carried the ball 6-times for 50-yards, he also had a reception for 9-yards and 6-solo tackles. Remington Breslford had the other TD run, rushing the ball 12 times for 64-yards. Colton Tisthammer led the team with 7-solo tackles.

For North Kansas City, Maxwell Franklin with 10-20 for 134-yards, 1-passing TD, 2-passing INTs, he also threw to 6-different receivers, he was determined to spread the ball around and keep Oak Park's defense guessing. Rasean Weathers had 97-return yards, along with the punt return with TD and 4-solo tackles. The defense had a bunch of contributors. Nathan Shook, 2.5-tackles, a sack and 3-tackles for loss. Clyde Price had 3-solo tackles, a sack and 2-tackles for loss. Jaquale Smith had 2.5-tackes, a sack and 1-tackle for loss. The player of the game was senior running back, Damon Whitmill. Whitmill finished with 184-rushing yards on 36 carries (5.1 yard/carry), 2-receptions for 24-ydards and 2-TDs.

Oak Park (0-4) will play at home next week against Ruskin (0-4), a team that has scored just 22-points and has given up 154-points (38.5 pts/game), they will look to get their first win of the season. North Kansas City (1-3) will host Leavenworth (0-2) next week and will look to getting their 2nd win on the season.