Sometimes a loss is nothing more than just a punch to the gut.
Other times, it can be a teaching moment and the team will be the better for it down the road.
Platte County High School head football coach Bill Utz said while last week’s 15-12 loss at St. Joseph Central was a tough pill to swallow, he expects the Pirates to learn from the experience.
“We have a lot of young guys who have not been in that kind of a situation before,” Utz said. “We need to learn how to finish. Sometimes an experience like (Friday’s loss) is needed to help teach us how. St. Joe is a good team. I thought there were some things we did very well and some things we for sure need to work on.”
The Pirates (1-1) will get the opportunity to rebound quickly when they travel to Ruskin Friday. Platte County walloped Ruskin 49-13 last season at Pirates Stadium. The Golden Eagles are off to a shaky start, having lost their first two games to Liberty North and Lee’s Summit North by a combined score of 77-6.
Still, Utz knows his team must be ready for Ruskin’s speed and spread offense.
“Ruskin is an athletic team and they could cause some issues for us with their speed,” he said. “I do think we have an advantage in the line play and hopefully we will be able to put that to good use.”
Platte County’s defense figures to dictate the tone of the game at Ruskin, especially with the way senior linebacker Jesse Eggers is playing. Eggers was all over the field at St. Joseph Central, racking up 14 tackles, three quarterback sacks and recovering a fumble.
“Jesse may have had one of his best games since he has been here,” Platte County defensive coordinator Eric Mitchell said.
Offensively, though, the Pirates will need to put two halves together — something they seem to have trouble doing versus St. Joseph Central.
For the second straight year, Platte County carried a lead into the fourth quarter against the Indians and for the second straight year, the Pirates could not hold it.
It was definitely a tale of two halves. The Pirates owned the first half and led 12-0 at intermission. The Indians dominated the second half and put the game away with eight fourth-quarter points.