North Platte led nearly the entire way in what turned into a frustrating missed upset bid. With a chance to end its losing streak and score its first KCI Conference win of the season, the Panthers gave up the final two touchdowns, the second in the final minute, of a 28-23 loss to Hamilton on Friday, Oct. 9 in Hamilton, Mo. The Hornets trailed 23-13 with 11 minutes, 52 seconds to play after Anthony Hernandez hit Kyle Ewing on a 22-yard touchdown pass for North Platte’s final points.
Less than 2 minutes later, Hamilton closed within two on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Jaran Richman to Latroy Harper and a two-point conversion.
The score remained there until the final minute when T.C. East scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds to go, undoing a solid defensive effort from North Platte, which dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-6 in KCI play. Josh Dutcher led the Panthers with 18 tackles, while Remington Wilson made 14.
North Platte senior running back Jordan Hendricks ran for 102 yards on 30 carries, while fellow senior Aron Burke added 32. The duo scored a touchdown and two-point conversion apiece, putting the Panthers up 16-7 in the second quarter.
Hernandez completed 6 of 13 passes for 149 yards with Ewing catching two for 52 yards. Hendricks also grabbed two for 37 yards.
North Platte remained at No. 6 in the Class 1 District 7 standings with a week left in the regular season, a road game at Plattsburg (2-6). The Panthers would have a rematch with No. 3-seeded Mid-Buchanan in the current rankings, but the Dragons are 31.39 points — just behind No. 2 West Platte (31.91) and just in front of Plattsburg (30.08).
North Platte lost to all three, but West Platte beat Mid-Buchanan and lost Plattsburg, while Mid-Buchanan won earlier in the season against Plattsburg.