Pembroke Hill stops Summit Christian

By Joe Caronia PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: October 13, 2018 - 12:39 AM



Summit Christian Academy traveled to Pembroke Hill, to try and knock the Raiders from the ranks of the undefeated teams in Missouri. The Raiders would have none of that as they outlasted the Eagles 12 -10, on senior night.

Raiders coach Sam Knopik knew he was going to need his seniors to come up big, on defense, “Our defensive front is mostly seniors, and if they can dominate, then we can bring in another DB, which we might need against this offense.”

Yards were so hard to come by in the first half, that both coaches went on 4th and short, deep in their own territory. The Eagles committed the game’s first turnover late in second quarter giving the Raiders the ball on the Eagle 43 yard line. Raiders quarterback Innis McLiney scored on a sneak from one yard out, with just :12 seconds left in the half. Ethan Wolf’s PAT was blocked as Pembroke to a 6-0, to halftime.

The second half started with a bang, when, on the first play from scrimmage, Spencer Sabates took a pitch around left end for a 71-yard touchdown, giving the Raiders a 12-0, lead. Coach Knopik, called for his team to go for two. However, during Sabates, scoring run, one of the Raider coaches tripped an official, so the two-point play came from the 18 yard line. McLiney’s pass, was incomplete and the Raiders led 12 - 0.

The Eagles drove right down the field and were looking for a touchdown, when on 3rd and goal, quarterback Grayson Sprouse was sacked for a loss by the senior led Raider defense. Josh McConnell nailed a 27-yard field goal, bringing the score to 12 - 3.

The Eagles made a stop on 4th down to get the ball back and drove the short field until McConnell to a direct snap and went 4-yards for the touchdown. McConnell converted the kick and the Eagles trailed 12 10.

The Raiders used their ground game to control the clock, in the 4th quarter. The Eagles had one last chance taking over on their own 10-yard line with 1:10, left in the game. Declan O’Leary came off the end and sacked Sprouse on the 3rd down play, and O’Leary hurried Sprouse on the 4th down play that fell incomplete, clinching the game for the Raiders.  Knopik, talked about his seniors’ effort

“He’s big, strong, aggressive, and has an excellent football IQ,” Knopik said. “It was good to watch him play that way tonight.”

After the game McLiney was talking about his quarterback runs.

“Most of them are called from the sideline but, on time I saw there was space over center, so that one was mine.”

McLiney, and most of the offensive lineman, spoke about the success of going for it on the numerous 4th and short yardage, “We got a new “Low-Boy”, sled and the five lineman have been driving it up and down the field, so we like the dynamic of going for it on 4th down, besides I have to take care of my little brother.”

The Eagles record dropped to 6 - 2 and they will be on the road next week to face Lincoln College Prep.  The Raiders will try to remain undefeated when they travel to Van Horn.