Park Hill football uses special teams to jumpstart rout of Smithville

Park Hill made the most of limited first half opportunities by using the third phase of the game Friday, Aug. 28. Smithville twice committed special teams gaffes to set up the Trojans inside the 10-yard line during the second quarter at Park Hill District Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Both turnovers resulted in short touchdown drives, helping Park Hill take control on the way to a 35-6 win against the Warriors.

Park Hill improved to 1-1 on the season after a loss Week 1 to Class 6 Blue Springs South. The Trojans continue to rank No. 5 in the Class 5 Missouri media poll.

Smithville (1-1, receiving votes in the Class 4 poll) led 6-0 after the first quarter on a pair of chip shot field goals from Sam Aviles on both sides of a successful onside kick. The first miscue from the Warriors allowed Park Hill sophomore Billy Maples to throw the first touchdown of his career, a 6-yarder to wide receiver DJ Johnson.

Smithville quickly gave the ball away again, and Zach Neal, a senior running back, completed the 2-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to put Park Hill up 14-6. The Trojans ended up totaling three touchdowns before halftime with Maples, a first-year starter at quarterback, throwing another touchdown pass to Johnson after they recovered an onside kick after the previous score with less than 2 minutes to go in the second quarter.

Johnson finished with four catches for 29 yards, while Maples completed 5-of-10 attempts for 41 yards. Park Hill sophomore running back Dorian Clayton added his second and third rushing scores on the season in the second half. The Trojans gained 173 yards on the ground and limited Smithville to just 133 overall.

Clayton, Neal and junior Caeden Bowen provided the bulk of the rushing attack in the stead of senior Matt Harris who tore his ACL in the Trojans’ preseason jamboree. Harris had surgery to repair the ligament and will miss the entire season.

Park Hill travels to Belton on Friday, Sept. 4.

Lee’s Summit West 34, Park Hill South 21

The Panthers led briefly but could not hold on for an upset Friday, Aug. 28 in Lee’s Summit, Mo. against the Titans, ranked No. 10 in Class 6.

Park Hill South gained 291 yards to Lee’s Summit West’s 200 but couldn’t turn that extra yardage into enough points. Panthers junior quarterback Zach Suchanick completed 11-of-20 passes for 146 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. His second scoring throw – a 22-yard strike to junior wide receiver Bryce Soske – gave Park Hill South a 21-17 advantage. Suchanick set up the touchdown with a 60-yard run.

Suchanick’s other touchdown came on a 36-yard pass to Dillon Thomas late in the second quarter that closed Park Hill South (0-2) to within 17-14 at halftime.

Lee’s Summit West took the lead back an interception return for a touchdown. The Panthers scored their first points early in the second quarter on a senior linebacker Jordan Bell’s 10-yard interception return.

Park Hill South hosts Raytown South on Friday, Sept. 4 at Park Hill District Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. still looking for the first win under first-year coach Mike Sharp.