North Platte finds itself in a weird position entering the final game of the regular season.
Following a third straight blowout loss, the Panthers enter a matchup Friday, Oct. 14 at Plattsburg with a chance of playing only for the right to host a rematch the following week. Currently, Plattsburg (2-6) sits fourth in the Class 1 District 7 standings with North Platte (2-6) right behind.
Looking at the other point totals shows almost certainty the two teams will play again the following week, regardless of the outcome.
North Platte dropped to 1-5 in KCI Conference play with a 42-7 loss to Hamilton on Friday, Oct. 7 at North Platte High School in Dearborn, Mo. Ben French’s late 60-yard touchdown accounted for the Panthers’ only points against the No. 3-ranked Hornets, now 7-0.
In losses to Hamilton, Lathrop and East Buchanan, North Platte has been outscored 128-13. The streak came after an emotional win over rival West Platte for the Panthers’ lone KCI win on the season.
Hamilton (8-0) put up 34 points in the first half with a diverse offense, and the game nearly came to a halt when a bank of lights at the field went out late in the second quarter. The teams opted to continue play, and lights at the neighboring softball field in Dean Park were turned on to help alleviate the problem.
Early in the third quarter, Hamilton added its sixth touchdown and a two-point conversion to put a running clock into effect that stayed on to the end.
French’s touchdown run in the fourth quarter accounted for 60 of North Platte’s 142 rushing yards. He finished with 131 yards on 23 carries, while junior quarterback Austin Snook completed 5 of 6 passes for 48 yards — 30 on one completion to junior Corbin Green.
Hamilton tallied 228 yards rushing and 125 passing while forcing three turnovers.
Plattsburg 34, West Platte 13
The Tigers pitched a shutout in the first half and held on for a key Class 1 District 7 victory Friday, Oct. 7 at the new Rudolph Eskridge Stadium in Weston, Mo.
Up 21-0 at the break, Plattsburg built leads of 27-0 and 34-7 in the third quarter on the way to snapping a five-game losing streak. The Tigers improved to 1-5 in KCI play, while West Platte dropped to 0-6 ahead of the regular season finale vs. Lawson on Friday, Oct. 14
West Platte (1-7) currently sits at No. 6 in the District 7 standings with no chance to move up. An upset of Lawson would assure the Bluejays a rematch with Mid-Buchanan (4-4, No. 3 in the standings), but a loss and win for Orrick (1-7, No. 7 in standings and playing 1-6 Slater) could push them down a spot.
If West Platte drops to seventh, the Bluejays would open district play next week against East Buchanan (5-3, playing 8-0 Hamilton this week). West Platte already lost to both Mid-Buchanan and East Buchanan this season.
Both of West Platte’s scores against Plattsburg came on pass plays.
Nick Miller, the Bluejays’ starter, hit Alec Carson for a 46-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and Noah Johnson completed his second attempt for a 14-yard touchdown to Gavin Raney in the fourth quarter for the final points. Miller finished with 100 yards passing on six completions with three going to senior fullback Kyle Tabaka for 44 yards.
Tabaka also reemerged as the leading rusher for West Platte with 42 yards on 17 carries, while Johnson added 38 yards on just six attempts.