Falcons grind one out

Len Lehmann/Special to PrepsKC

By SJ Munoz PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: October 12, 2018 - 11:23 PM

Complete stats and Box Score

It wasn't decided until the last play of the game, but when the dust settled it was a 17-14 win for Staley, who came behind to beat Park Hill on Friday night at Park Hill District Stadium.

Staley found themselves an unfamiliar position, trailing and down a quarterback at halftime. The Falcons responded with 17 unanswered points and came up with a defensive stand in the closing seconds of the game to preserve the victory.

“We were able to play field position and flip the field on them,"

Staley head coach Phil Lite. "Defense has been doing it all year for us. We made some halftime adjustments on offense and special teams was great. We told our kids to be prepared to play a four-quarter game and that's exactly what it came down to."

For 20-plus minutes of the first half the Trojans and Falcons played to a scoreless tie before Park Hill came up with the biggest play of the first half. Senior defensive back Donovan Bustamante picked off a Staley pass at the Falcon 40 with just 1:22 to play in the half. On the same play, Falcon quarterback Loa Grace was knocked out of the game with an injury.

Park Hill took advantage of the turnover as Ryan Graves dove in from one yard out to give with 17 seconds left in the half to put the Trojans on top 7-0 at halftime.

The third quarter belonged to Staley with the visitors taking the lead thanks to a pair of scores. At the 7:16 mark of the third, Jacob Stewart drilled a 31-yard field goal to move the Falcons within four (7-3). On Staley’s next drive they took the lead (10-7) on a five-yard touchdown pass from Dawson Parks to Blake Proffitt.

With 9:01 left in the contest, Quinton Arello intercepted a Park Hill pass at the Staley 30 and returned it to the Trojans’ 32. Less than three minutes later, Jaden Moss found his way into the end zone from

10 yards out to make it 17-7, in favor of the Class 5, No. 1 Falcons.

Park Hill rallied late scoring with just 1:47 left on a 17-yard pass from Graves to Jaylin Noel, which made it a three-point game.

The Trojans defense then made a stand and Park Hill had a chance to win it 1:22 to play, but the Staley defense answered the bell turning the Trojans away as time expired.

"We talk to our kids about adversity all the time," Lite said. "Dawson Parks came in for Loa (Grace) and did a phenomenal job leading our team. Credit goes to our kids for making the adjustments. I'm blessed with outstanding coaches that did a great job of teaching on the fly."

Staley closes the regular season at Liberty, while Park Hill travel to Blue Springs.