West Platte scored the final points to avoid a shutout but ended up with a 35-8 loss to Hamilton on Friday, Sept. 26 at Rudolph Eskeridge Stadium in Weston, Mo. — the Bluejays’ fourth loss in five games. Ranked in the Class 1 Missouri media poll in the preseason, West Platte (2-4, 1-3 KCI) only has a blowout win of rival North Platte in the past five games, which came a week ahead of the home date with Hamilton. The Bluejays have allowed more than 20 points in each of their losses this season.
West Platte plays its final home game Friday, Oct. 2 against Mid-Buchanan before road dates with Plattsburg and Lawson to close the regular season. Currently, the Bluejays hold the No. 3 ranking in the Class 1 District 7 standings — one spot behind Mid-Buchanan (4-2, beating Plattsburg 20-14 last week) and one ahead of Plattsburg (1-5), making the next two weeks vital to seeding.
If the postseason started this week, West Platte would host North Platte in the opening round of district play.
West Platte managed just more than 200 yards of offense in the loss to Hamilton and faced a running clock for a portion of the second quarter. The Hornets led 27-0 at halftime on three touchdown passes from Jaran Richman (9-for-13 for 245 yards) to Latroy Harper (six catches, 175 yards).
Harper also returned a Brett Shepardson interception 38 yards for the only score of the first quarter.
Hamilton added touchdown passes of 10, 78 and 9 in the second quarter from Richman to Harper, and TC East added a 1-yard touchdown plunge in the third quarter. He finished with 17 carries for a team-high 59 yards.
West Platte ended up throwing 13 passes with Shepardson, a converted offensive lineman, completing five for 36 yards. Justin Rhodes, a senior running back, caught three passes for 36 yards and added a team-high 77 yards on 11 carries, including a 28-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Shepardson added 63 yards on 20 carries, one week after going for 245 and five touchdowns in the win against North Platte.
Lathrop 30, North Platte 0
The Panthers’ losing streak hit four Friday, Sept. 25 in Lathrop, Mo.
North Platte (2-4, 0-4 KCI) lost three fumbles to stifle an offense that gained 209 yards. Aron Burke — the Panthers’ bruising senior — ran for 77 yards on 11 carries, returning from a knee injury suffered the prior week in a loss to West Platte. Jordan Hendricks, another senior, managed just 49 on a team-high 21 carries.
Anthony Hernandez, North Platte’s senior quarterback, threw for 47 yards — 35 on two catches for sophomore Will Morse.
Lathrop led 20-0 at halftime and added the final 10 points in the third quarter. The Mules did lose one fumble, recovered by Burke, and senior nose tackle Jonathan Collins blocked a punt and added a sack for North Platte, which hosts Class 2 No. 2-ranked East Buchanan (6-0) this week.
East Buchanan has scored at least 38 in every game this season, while North Platte has managed two, 14, 14, 14, 14 and zero on offense in its six games.