Ross and roll

Jeff Stead/PrepsKC

By SJ Munoz PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: November 11, 2016 - 11:54 PM



Staley made a big time statement on Friday night in Class 5 playoff action.

The Falcons rolled up plenty of offense in the 42-21 win over previously once-beaten Park Hill South, totaling more than 300 yards of offense alone in the first half, but it was their defense that really set the tone.

"We've been executing throughout the playoffs, our kids are playing with a lot of confidence and that showed tonight," Staley head coach Phil Lite said. "At this point of the season, you have to be able to stop the run and eliminate the explosive play and our defense did a great job of that. This defense is young with nine new guys on that side of the ball, but they have really grown up this year."

After Park Hill South missed a field goal on their opening drive, Staley took control and never looked back.

The Falcons hit a 56-yard pass play followed by a 22-yard touchdown run from senior Julian Ross, who was nearly unstoppable in the first

24 minutes of action.

Less than four minutes later, Staley quarterback John Raybourn extended the lead to 14 on a seven-yard run with 1:50 to go in the first quarter.

Special teams setup the next Flacons' score as Joseph Cantrell blocked a punt and recovered it at the South 5-yard-line.

Ross scored on the ground a few snaps later and it was 21-0, heading into the second quarter.

Touchdown runs of 32 yards (9:07) and 63 yards (7:13) by Ross, who racked up 181 yards and four scores on 10 carries in the first half had the Falcons ahead 35-0.

Staley junior running back Isaiah Hall found the end zone with just over three minutes to go in the second to make it 42-0, at the half.

The 6-TD lead remained intact until late into the fourth when the Panthers scored on a pass from senior QB Zach Suchanick to senior wideout Jake Springer with 5:38 to play.

Senior defensive back Payton Ireland added defensive scores for the Panthers who continued to battle until the final whistle. Ireland scored on fumble recoveries at the 3:16 and 2:37 marks of the fourth, which accounted for the final margin as South's season came to an end at 10-2.

"We're a resilient group of guys, but unfortunately we were a little outmatched tonight," Park Hill South head coach Mike Sharp said. "Our seniors have done a tremendous job. Our young guys need to look up to what they've done and the work they put in and continue to build off that. We had a great season our program can build on."

Staley runs their record to 10-2 with the win advancing to the semifinals to face Vianney or Chaminade next week in St. Louis.

"We wanted to get to St. Louis, that was our goal tonight," Lite said.

"Now we have an opportunity to play the best teams over there."