Big night by Kelso leads Platte County to win
By Cole Young PrepsKC Staff Writer
If Krae Kelso needed to make a statement in his push for the Fontana Award, look no further than his performance in Platte County’s 54-20 victory over Liberty North.
Kelso, the Platte County quarterback, stunned the crowd – and Liberty North with is performance. The majority of the damage for the Pirates’ signal caller came on the ground. Kelso finished with 351 yards rushing on 17 carries and five touchdowns on runs of 6, 21, 67, 78 and 83. He also added a 42-yard touchdown through the air.
His performance highlighted a 560-yard offensive performance for the Pirates.
“We were able to take advantage of a few things we saw,” said Platte County head coach Bill Utz. “We had a strong performance from our quarterback and our tailback ran too. All of that came with help from the offensive line.”
For Kelso, whose 351 yards marked a career high, the game provided a chance to make a statement in a game that featured him and Liberty North’s running back Antwynn Beavers, two of the top small-class performers in the city.
Beavers didn’t disappoint either. Lost in Kelso’s star studded performance was what has become a “regular” night for the Eagle’s junior. Beavers finished with 268 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns. His performance puts him over 1,350 yards in just six games.
His biggest play of the night came just as the Pirates were trying to kill the Eagles comeback hopes. Platte County, 4-2, led 14-7 at the time, but failed to convert on a fourth and goal opportunity on the 1. Instead, one play later Beavers went almost untouched for a 99-yard score.
“He can just fly,” Kelso said of Beavers. “Everything we’d heard about him this week, he’s as good as advertised.”
Beavers followed that with a 69-yard score to give Liberty North, 4-2, a 20-14 lead midway through the second quarter.
From there though, it was all Platte County. The Pirates scored three more touchdowns and led 34-20 at the end of the wild first half. In the first two quarters alone, the two squads combined for 650 yards of offense.
In the second half, Liberty North was unable to get anything going offensively, while Platte County continued to click, including a 13-play 69-yard drive to start the half that took over six minutes off the clock.
While the Pirates offense continued to find its rhythm, it was their defense that tightened and shut down the Eagles attack.
“At halftime we made some adjustments to our alignment,” Utz said. “Plus we had some kids injured in the first half so we were able to get some new kids in there and coached up.”
Meanwhile things went downhill quickly for Liberty North after jumping out to a 20-14 lead. According to Liberty North head coach Ken Clemens, part of that was a strong performance from Kelso and the other was the Eagles’ lack of physicality.
“We couldn’t have stopped Kelso’s little brother the way we were playing tonight,” Clemens said. “He’s a good football player, but we helped him out a lot.”
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