Oak Park tops Northtown

By Scott Kendall PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 11, 2014 - 1:12 AM

 It was cold, rainy but the rival was on.  Oak Park & North Kansas City facing off once again.  North Kansas City coming of a 7-point win the week before and Oak Park needing a bounce back from the beating they took by the hands of Fort Osage a week ago.

Oak Park would start the game off receiving the kick.  On the kickoff, North Kansas City place kicker pooches the kick and Develle Baldwin falls on the ball.  An auspicious start to the game for sure, and the Hornets needed to capitalize on the turnover and they did.  On the very next play, quarter back John Sanchez runs around the end for a 47-yard TD run, the kick after by Muamer Hamsic, the guy who started all this, was good and North Kansas City strikes first, 7-0.

Oak Park shook off the score and running back, Marquis Caldwell, said get on my back, I will carry this team.  Caldwell ran the ball twice on the drive for 44-yards and scored on the 28-yard run.  The extra point try by Joe Dyer was no good, but the Northmen were on the board, 7-6.

It took no time at all for the Hornets to score again, less than a minute actually.  Three runs in a row with the last run by Chris Elizondo from 18-yards out for the score, the extra point, put the Hornets up 8,
14-6.  But, on Oak Parks ensuing drive, it was Brysen Stigger & Caldwell that tied the score up 14-14.  Stigger ran a 40-yard TD in and Caldwell ran in the 2-point conversion.

North Kansas City started on their own 20-yard line on the next drive, but quickly stalled out.  NKC gave the ball back to Oak Park and once again, Stigger & Caldwell stepped up and took on the load for the Northmen.  Stigger & Caldwell combine for 38-yards on 7-rush attempts, the last carry put Caldwell in the end zone, the point after gave the Northmen a 21-14 lead.

The Hornets ran into some Northmen stingy defense at the start of the 2nd quarter and were forced to turn the ball over on downs.  And, again Caldwell ran in the TD, the extra point was not good, but with the score by Caldwell, the Northmen were up 27-14.  The Hornets needed to get something started if they wanted to stay in the game.  The Hornets turned to Damon Whitmill, who ran for 22 yards on 5-carries.  The Hornets looked like they were going to go down and score, but on 4th and 7 at Oak Parks 24, Develle Baldwin could only get 3-yards on the carry and the Northmen forced another turnover on downs.

It was the Caldwell/Stigger show for the Northmen tonight.  On the next drive, Caldwell had a big 45-yard run, setting Stigger to run the ball in from 22-yards out.  The point after made the score, 34-14.  The game was getting a little out of hand, and to top it off, John Sanchez of North Kansas City fumbled the ball on their next drive.  But, Oak Park was unable to capitalize on the turnover, although if they had more time on the clock before the half, they might have just put up more points on the board.

North Kansas City started off with the ball in the 2nd half, but after picking up a quick first down on two runs by Whitmill, the Hornets offense struggled once again, turning the ball over on downs.  For the first time in the game, the Northmen were denied the end zone on their first drive in the 2nd half.  John Sanchez of NKC would finally get the Hornets on the board, after a huge pass/catch of 76 yards between Sanchez and Chris Elizondo, Sanchez ran in the 7-yard TD, the two point conversion try was no good, but the Hornets scored, and ended the Northmens 28-unanswered point run.

Marquis Caldwell would tack on 2 more TD runs; 39-yards and 36-yards.  Stigger would add one too from 14-yards out.  John Sanchez would have the best half of the night; a 7-yard TD run, a 62-yard kick off return, two pass/catch TDs one from 8-yard to Kevin Ewing and another for 48-yards to Whitmill.  Sanchez did all he could to keep the Hornets in the game, but the Northmen were just too much in the end.  The final score was 55-40 Northmen, a valid effort by the Hornets.

John Sanchez led the way for the Hornets, passing for 141 yards and 2 scores, he also ran the ball 16 times for 137 yards and 3 scores and added another score on a 62-yard kickoff return.  Anthony Newton led the defense with 6.5 tackles, 5 solo.

Marquis Caldwell carried the Northmen by scoring 5-TDs on 262 yards rushing on 25 carries (10.5 yards/carry).  Brysen Stigger had 3 TDs on 121 yards rushing.  Evan Wilson led the defense with 9 solo tackles including one tackle for a loss.

Both teams combined for 103 plays, 875 total yards, 34 first downs and converted 9 for 21 third downs.  The difference was in the take-aways.  North Kansas City turned the ball over three times, while the Northmen did not turn the ball over at all.  North Kansas City falls to 1-7 on the season and 1-4 in district play.  The Hornets will close out their regular season by playing Liberty North at home.  Oak Park improves to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in district play.  The Northmen will close out their regular season by playing at Staley next Friday.