West Platte pulls away from North Platte

By Jerry Keuhn Special to The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 22, 2011 - 12:00 AM

WESTON, Mo. — With North Platte threatening to come back from a first-half deficit, a bouncing ball fell the right way for the West Platte on Friday night. A fumble recovery provided the momentary windfall that allowed the Blue Jays to pull away for a 42-18 victory at West Platte High School, setting up an even bigger matchup next Thursday night.

A bad snap went through the hands of Panthers quarterback Levi Hill that West Platte’s Brandon Searcy scooped up. He sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown and effectively put the game out of reach at 35-18 on the last play of the third period.

“I saw (Hill) dive on it, and I thought he was going to get it,” Searcy said. “But then it squirted out, and I told myself I had to get the ball because it could change the game tremendously. Once I got it, I put the jets on and took off and didn’t stop until I crossed the goal line.”

West Platte jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but North Platte’s punishing ground game allowed the Panthers to stay within striking distance at halftime, down 22-6.

North Platte bounced back in the second half and after the opening kickoff, pounded the ball 69 yards, mostly on Zach Emmendorfer runs and capped with his smash-mouth run up the middle for 44 yards and a touchdown. North Platte recovered the ensuing kickoff, and seconds later, Emmendorfer rumbled 2 yards for his third touchdown, and all of a sudden it was 22-18.

Emmendorfer finished with 191 yards on 26 carries.

“We came out with intensity in the second half, and I felt like we had a good chance,” North Platte head coach Jim Brockhoff said. “We were running the ball effectively and finally had some positive things happen.”

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