Maples' 4 TDs help Park Hill build big lead, hold on for big win

Billy Maples threw for four touchdowns to build Park Hill a big lead, and the Trojans then survived a furious rally to avoid a second straight loss.

A 31-26 win against Raymore-Peculiar on Friday, Sept. 30 at Park Hill District Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. improved Park Hill to 4-3 overall and put the Trojans sixth in the Class 6 District 4 standings. Currently, Raymore-Peculiar holds the fifth spot, meaning if the season ended now Park Hill would jump the Panthers and be in the 4-5 first round matchup.

But the season doesn’t end now, and Park Hill hopes to build more momentum the final two weeks with games at Liberty North and vs. Blue Springs South.

Park Hill’s first season since moving up from Class 5 to Class 6 has been almost perfectly up and down. The Trojans have alternated wins and losses starting with a victory Week 1 at Lee’s Summit North and most recently including the triumph over Raymore-Peculiar.

Coming off an overtime loss to District 4 foe Lee’s Summit West, Park Hill struck early and often in an effort to avoid falling below .500.

Maples threw scoring passes of 56 yards, 11 yards and 14 yards to Ronnie Bell, Quinton Harris and DJ Johnson in the second quarter, putting the Trojans up 24-7 at halftime. The connection with Johnson came in the final 1 minute, 58 seconds of the first half following Raymore-Peculiar’s first touchdown.

Early in the third quarter, Maples hit Bell on a second scoring connection between the two, but Park Hill wouldn’t score in the final 22:21 of the game.

Raymore-Peculiar quarterback Grant Ardito factored in three of the four touchdowns for the Panthers, and his 7-yard scoring strike with 3:39 left in regulation closed the gap to five. Park Hill running back Dorian Clayton finished with 92 yards rushing and helped run out the clock on a needed victory, improving the Trojans to 2-3 in Suburban Conference Gold Division play.

Maples continued his strong junior season with 204 yards passing on 14 of 22 accuracy. Bell led the receiver group with 130 yards on six catches, and Harris grabbed a team-high seven receptions. Johnson’s six catches went for 27 yards.

Park Hill entered the season coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances in Class 5 and with a top-10 ranking in Class 6. The Trojans received two votes in the most recent Class 6 Missouri media poll after falling off the list all together following the loss to Lee’s Summit West last week.