Pirates pass first test, face stiffer challenge this week at St. Joseph Central
The Platte County High School football team did not mess around last Friday night at Pirates Stadium.
The Pirates dominated the visiting William Chrisman Bears from start to finish and posted a 42-7 season-opening win on a steamy August evening.
In so doing, Platte County got off to the good start it needed as it prepares for what will surely be a much stiffer challenge this Friday at St. Joseph Central. The Indians are no doubt still smarting from the 41-6 beating they received at the hands of high-powered defending Class 6 state champion Blue Springs last Friday night. Central also dealt the Pirates one of two regular-season losses last year.
Platte County head coach Bill Utz said he challenged his team to come out of the gate strong and knows it will have to do the same thing Friday at St. Joe.
“I feel we played well,” Utz said. “I challenged the kids to play fast and to come out and perform early and they did that. We were able to cause several turnovers and capitalize on most of them. I was very happy with the effort.
“St. Joe is good. They have a very good offense. They do a lot of different formations. They are also well coached and play hard.”
Platte County defensive coordinator Eric Mitchell said the Pirates will have to concentrate on stopping Central’s top offensive playmakers – running back Derek Gray, quarterback Jacob Kaiser and tight end Tyree Mayfield.
“This will be as good a trio of players as we will see early in the season,” Mitchell said.
Platte County’s defense got off to a good start against Chrisman. The Pirates held the Bears to just 111 yards of total offense and forced three turnovers. The first of those turnovers came just seconds into the game when freshman defensive back Justin Mitchell came down with a deflected pass from Chrisman quarterback Gannon Ogle for an interception on the first play of the game.
That led to the second play of the game – a 27-yard touchdown pass from Platte County junior quarterback Tyler Cooper to senior back Nic Blaha.
The second forced turnover by the Pirates’ D came a few minutes later when Jordan Hendricks covered a Bears’ fumble. Two plays later Cooper hooked up with junior wide out Aliek Reed for a 26-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 Pirates lead.
Platte County kept its foot on the gas the rest of the first half, stretching the lead to 35-0 at intermission with a three-yard TD run by Willie Smith and two more Cooper TD passes – seven yards to senior newcomer Jordan Branson and six yards to Reed.
With the running-clock rule in effect in the second half, Platte County emptied its bench early, resulting in valuable playing time for Pirates reserves. Spencer Kunz tacked on a third-quarter Td run of 11 yards to complete the Pirates’ scoring.
The Bears avoided a shutout midway through the fourth period when Ogle threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dalvin Wilkerson.
Platte County finished with 319 total yards of offense. Running back Robbie Geran carried the ball 10 times for 65 yards and Kunz finished with 42 yards on eight carries.
Cooper completed 11-of-18 passes for 111 yards and the four scores. Blaha had three catches for 43 yards; Reed had three for 39.