Park Hill South’s rebuilding effort hit a setback Friday, Aug. 25, and the Panthers face some uncertainty entering a much-anticipated rematch with a rival.
In a nonconference matchup with Grandview, Park Hill South quarterbacks Billy Eggers and Taylor Tobin — both seniors — combined to throw four interceptions in a stunning 34-22 loss to Grandview in Grandview, Mo. The Bulldogs entered off a 45-6 loss to Platte County but used the turnovers to spring the upset.
Park Hill South dropped to 1-1 and out of the Missouri media Class 5 rankings with the loss. The Panthers entered the season at No. 10 off of a 10-2 run to the quarterfinals a year ago and remained in the same spot after a Week 1 blowout of Winnetonka.
Facing a second straight smaller foe, Park Hill South’s offense didn’t get going until the second half and still almost did enough for a big comeback.
Ta’Von Tusa, a junior transfer from Bishop Miege (Kan.), continued to shine for the Panthers, running for 192 yards and three touchdowns. Two of the scores came in the third quarter, and two failed two-point conversions left Grandview’s lead at 27-22.
Park Hill South, which allowed less than 200 yards of offense and only one third-down conversion, then gave up a late touchdown pass to end the comeback bid.
Grandview opened the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run in what turned out to be the lone offensive highlight for the Bulldogs until the final score. Tusa answered with a 4-yard touchdown run to provide the game’s lone tie.
The final 20 points of the first half for Grandview came on a trio of interception returns for touchdowns — 22 yards, 91 yards and 57 yards. In between the second and third defensive touchdowns, Park Hill South scored on Stephen Personelli’s 24-yard field goal to briefly cut the lead to 20-10.
Grandview went into halftime up 27-10.
Eggers went 1-for-6 for 13 yards with three interceptions while Tobin finished 5-for-15 for 57 yards and one pick for Park Hill South. Tusa had a 30-yard reception from Tobin, while Sam Beuerlein and Payton Murray had two catches apiece.
Park Hill South now limps into a Friday, Sept. 1 matchup with Park Hill.
Last season, Park Hill won the nonconference rivalry game, stiffing a Park Hill South two-point conversion try in the closing seconds that would’ve given the Panthers the lead. Park Hill South went on to win eight straight after that and advance to the Class 5 playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Park Hill, previously a conference and district rival, moved up to Class 6 last season and went 6-4 with a loss in the Class 6 District 4 opening round. The Trojans have started 2-0 this season with a pair of Suburban Conference Gold Division wins behind a high-powered offense.
Billy Maples, a senior quarterback, has thrown 14 touchdowns in two games, including a state record nine in a big win over Lee’s Summit last week.