Instant Classic

Todd Nugent/Special to PrepsKC

By PrepsKC staff
Posted: September 23, 2017 - 1:12 PM



This is one they will talk about years later in local Platte City watering holes. A game hyped up all week for the potential offensive fireworks waited three and a half quarters before finally setting off a grand finale that had everyone's jaws dropped. Two lead changes in the final 1:43 of the game -- both coming on fourth-down touchdown passes -- and a Hail Mary just to force overtime, will put this one firmly into contention for Game of the Year.

Platte County quarterback Tanner Clarkson hooked up with receiver Devin Richardson in overtime to help the Class 4 No. 4-ranked Pirates to a wild, 35-28 victory against Class 5 No. 4-ranked Blue Jays.

After that, Platte County's defense buckled down. They got a tackle for loss on first down and forced Liberty quarterback Thomas Henrichs into three incompletions to come away with the victory.

It appeared Clarkson had won it for the Pirates with 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter. On a 4th down and 11, he scrambled and found receiver Jon Watts with a 69-yard bomb to give Platte County a 28-21 lead after a two-point conversion run from Clarkson. Watts finished the game with four catches for 147 yards and the score.

But, Liberty didn't go quietly. Henrichs led them down the field, and then his Hail Mary was answered when a tipped pass found receiver Drew Mackie from 28 yards out with .02 seconds left in the content. Grant Ross' extra point tied the score at 28-28, and the game headed to overtime.

Defenses ruled the contest for the first 42 minutes of the contest. Henrichs tossed a 19-yard touchdown to Nathan Gray with 5:38 left in the fourth to make it 20-15 and inject some enthusiasm in a sputtering Liberty offense. After a three-and-out, Henrichs found Mackie for the second of his three touchdowns, this one from 41 yards out on 4th and 9, to make it 21-20, Blue Jays.

With the Blue Jays struggling to get running back Robert Rawie going, it was Henrichs and Mackie who did most of the damage. Henrichs finished 22-of-44 for 350 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Mackie had 6 receptions for 171 yards and three scores.

After a Liberty field goal and touchdown to make it 9-0 after the first quarter, the Pirates owned the second frame. Clarkson tossed the first of his three touchdowns, this one to Dakota Schmidt from 2 yards out to make it 9-7. Then Platte County capped an 8-play drive with a Gavin Hardman 1-yard run to make it 14-9. The Pirates didn't stop there, though. Clarkson guided the offense from the deep in their own territory to the Liberty 5-yard line in 47 seconds. Kicker Parker Lacina finished the half with a 22-yard field goal to make it 17-9. Clarkson was 4-of-7 on the drive, finding his go-to man Richardson three straight times to help move deep into Liberty territory. Richardson had nine grabs on the night, totaling 116 yards to go with the game-winning score.

Lacina added another field goal at the start of the fourth quarter to make it 20-9 and set the stage for all the dramatics yet to come.