North Kansas City rallies to beat Leavenworth

By Joe Caronia PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 17, 2016 - 12:04 AM

The Leavenworth Pioneers crossed over the state line to do battle with the North Kansas City Hornets, at historic North Kansas City district stadium. The Pioneers entered tonights match up with a record of 0-2, while the Hornets featured a record of 1-3.

The Pioneers took the opening kickoff and mixed the run and pass to drive the length of the field and scored when senior Wade Jackson scored on a 28 yard, misdirection run. Gyun Jung made the kick and the score was 7-0.

The Hornets Damon Whitmill returned the kickoff to his own 39 yard line to start the drive and he also finished the drive with a 13 yard run. Bryce Clark converted the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.

On the Pioneers next possession senior quarterback Dylan Mclain executed a play action pass to Andrew Ativie down the middle of the field for a 32 yard pickup that put the Pioneers in Hornets territory. Jackson scored his second rushing touchdown from 12 yards out. The Pioneers were lined up for the kick, but the Hornets jumped offside. Coach Littrell then decided to go for two. Anthony Gould converted the two point run, and the Pioneers lead 15-7.

The Hornets started a drive with 3:36 in the second quarter. On second down and long Damon Whitmill took a draw and ran 78 yards down to the Pioneers 3 yard line. Whitmill then picked up the remaining 3 yards for the score. The Hornets attempted a two point pass but they were stopped short as the teams went to halftime, with the Pioneers holding a 15-13 lead.

The Hornets muffed the opening kickoff of the second half giving the Pioneers a short field. Gyun Jung converted a 27 yard field goal, and the Pioneers had an 18-13 lead early in the third quarter.

The Hornets took over after a short punt on the Pioneers 46 yard line. The Hornets needed justtwo plays to take the lead. Whitmill scored on 28 yard run. The Hornets went for two and Whitmill took the pitch and converted the run giving them a 21-18 lead.

Late in the game with the Pioneers needing a stop the Hornets junior quarterback faked the handoff to Whitmill and threw a 9 yard scoring pass to William Rosario. Clark failed on the PAT.

The Pioneers were in desperation mode when Nathan Shook, caused a fumble that was recovered by the Hornets, as they took a knee as time expired giving them a 27-18 victory.

After the game Hornets Coach Leon Douglas spoke highly of Shook.

“He’s a great kid,” Douglas said. “We go back all the way to elementary school when he was in 5th grade. He had played end for us but we asked him to bulk up and move to the nose. He worked in weight room, the thing I like about tonight, it shows the kids why we lift the way lift.”

Douglas spoke about his workhorse on offense, Damon Whitmill.

“He had about 400 yards his sophomore year and he said all right I have to listen to these coaches,” Douglas said. “What happened was instead of going against us he went with us. Even with his grades you can see the parallel, he has come full circle, so you can hand him the ball and never worry that he is not giving you his all.”

The Hornets will travel to Fort Osage next week to take on the Indians. The Pioneers will be looking for their first win as they will host Shawnee Mission South.