PH South tops SJ Central in final minute

By SJ Munoz PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 16, 2015 - 11:24 PM

A wild finish went Park Hill South's way as they scored in the final minute of the game to close the regular season with a 24-20 win over St. Joseph Central Friday night at Park Hill District Stadium.

The lead changed hands three times in the second half alone, after the Panthers had built a first-half lead.

With 5:42 to go in the third, Central's Israel Smith busted through the South defense on 4th-and-1 for 48 yards and a TD, putting the Indians on top 13-10. South took the lead back five seconds into the fourth quarter as Zach Suchanick threw his second TD pass to Dillon Thomas to put the Panthers up 17-13.

That lead held late into the fourth, but Central wasn't going away easily.

The Indians converted a 3rd-and-13 with a 28-yard scoring strike from Jacob Hess to Keith Roderick and were back ahead, 20-17, with 3:39 to go.

With time ticking away, South (2-7) had to make their next possession count and they did. The Panthers drove from deep inside their own territory and scored the game-winning TD on a 4-yard pass from Suchanick to Thomas with just 38 seconds left.

Central had one last crack at it, but they were unable to advance into South territory. 

"The kids stayed with us throughout the year and really battled," Park Hill South head coack Mike Sharp said. "It's exciting to see them have some fun. Central is a very good team and they have some tremendous athletes. Our kids are kind of finally buying into that we need to overcome adversity and if something bad happens we have to get up and play again. It's a great way for us to build some momentum for the future."

Central (3-6) missed on a field goal with just under seven minutes to go in the first, but regained possession less than one minute later. Junior Trysten Nickel recovered a South fumble at the Panthers' 23 with 6:08 left in the quarter.

The Indians made good on the drive with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Hess to Roderick. The PAT made it 7-0 Central.

South took control in the second quarter, scoring just seconds in. A long bomb down the sideline from Suchanick to Jake Springer moved the Panthers deep into Central territory. Suchanick took it in from 3-yards out on the next play and the game was tied 7-7 with 11:38 to play in the half.

Special teams became the story in the rest of the quarter as the Indians were twice able to set up field goal attempts, but missed their second of the night, while their third attempt, just before the break, was blocked by the Panthers.

South converted on their FG attempt, a 20-yarder by Stephen Personelli at the 2:44 mark, and led 10-7 at halftime.