Harrisonville beats Lincoln Prep

By Toriano Porter PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 27, 2018 - 12:06 AM

Lincoln Prep was seemingly in control of its Class 4 District 7 playoff opener against Harrisonville. The third-seeded Blue Tigers were up 21-6 over the district's No. 6 seed halfway through the second quarter before disaster struck.

A fumble recovery gave the Wildcats the ball at Lincoln's one-yard line with about 6 minutes left before halftime. The visitors would score one play later. The tally was enough to jumpstart a Harrisonville rally. The Wildcats would go on to pull out a thrilling 34-28 upset win over the host Blue Tigers.

Harrisonville notched just it's third win in 10 tries this season. The tradition-rich program was gutted this year by the loss of nearly two dozen seniors. None of that matter in the opening round of postseason play.

The Wildcats will go on the road for a second-round matchup against Van Horn (7-3). The Falcons pounded Raytown South (1-9) 41-29 to advance.

"We've started to jell the past week or two," Harrisonville head coach Brent Maxwell said. "Our record doesn't indicate how successful we've been. To come and get a win on the road against a pretty good team is huge."

The win was especially memorable for another group of outgoing seniors, Maxwell said.

"And for our younger guys," he said. "They've struggled but they just keep battling every day."

The loss was Lincoln Prep's fourth of the season. It was their hardest. The win or go home nature of high school playoff football was unbearable for two of the Blue Tigers' senior starters.

They wanted nothing more but to capture the first playoff win for an Interscholastic League team in years.

"We can be a good team," head coach William Lowe said. "But our kids haven't learned how to do that."

Lincoln Prep started strong, recovering the opening kickoff in the endzone for a score less than 10 seconds in. The Blue Tigers forced a punt and went up two scores on it's opening drive.

The teams traded scores before the Blue Tigers' fatal collapse. A 47-yard scoring play through the air put Harrisonville in front 27-21 right before half. It was their first lead of the game.

"I wasn't scared at all," said Wildcat sophomore offensive linesman Trevor Campbell. "I knew we would punch it down their throats and get ready to go."

At times Lincoln looked like the walking dead until Mario Woods took a swing pass from quarterback Howard Brown and zipped his way into the end zone for a 73-yard score. A successful kick put the Blue Tigers back in front 28-27 less than 2 minutes into the third quarter.

Harrisonville powered its way back in front on the next drive. The 34-28 lead halfway through the third was enough to hold the Blue Tigers at bay.

The Blue Tigers had a shot. Billy Jenkins recovered a fumble to give Lincoln the ball at midfield. They used a hook and ladder to advance into Harrisonville territory. A fumbled snap drove them backwards. An interception could have been their undoing.

But the Lincoln defense countered with an interception at their own 6-yard line. A potential 94-yard drive was thwarted before it ever started.

However, a fourth down stop with 8:20 left in the ball game gave the Blue Tigers more life. Harrisonville choked it right back out of them to hold on for the victory.

"I'm really proud of us," Campbell said. "We look past all the adversity we find and go punch it in the mouth."