KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After the Park Hill defense allowed a pair of touchdowns late, Ronnie Bell put one final exclamation to assure the Trojans of a win and stamp out any thoughts of a miraculous comeback.
Bell’s catch and run of 50 yards provided Park Hill’s final points in a 41-21 win Friday, Aug. 18 at Park Hill District Stadium. The senior accounted for the final three of senior quarterback Billy Maples’ five touchdown passes in a breakout second half showing.
Park Hill scored the game’s first 35 points and was never truly threatened in the second half.
“These guys have been hungry for a long time now — many, many months,” Park Hill coach Josh Hood said. “It was vitally important that we get a chance to hit someone else tonight and I felt like we did for the first three quarters there, did an outstanding job of taking care of business, offensively, defensively and in the special teams so I was proud of our guys.”
Lee’s Summit North finally put up points with touchdowns on back-to-back drives late in the third quarter to close within 35-14.
On Park Hill’s next possession, the Trojans faced a third-and-11 after a holding penalty, but a pass from Maples to Payton Stanfield was just enough for a first down. On the next play after an offsides penalty, Maples hit Bell on the left side at the Broncos’ 20-yard line, and he sprinted away from the defense for a score.
Maples finished 21-for-34 with career-highs of 347 yards and five touchdowns. Bell led the receivers with career-highs of nine catches for 216 yards and three touchdowns.
“We feel like we have enough weapons that somebody’s going to be freed up every play or every possession,” Hood said. “Billy did a good job of finding those guys at the right moments tonight and the kids executed; we had some big catches from a lot of people, and Ronnie’s outstanding; I’m just glad everybody else got to see it tonight.”
Park Hill scored twice in the first quarter on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Maples to Damian Sigers and 15-yard touchdown run for senior running back Dorian Clayton, who led the Trojans with 95 yards rushing. Maples, a third-year starter, added a 15-yard touchdown strike to Joe Webb to increase the advantage to 21-0 at halftime.
From there, Bell took over. He caught touchdowns of 15 and 18 yards in the third quarter to extend the lead to 35-0.
Park Hill entered off of a disappointing 6-4 debut after a move up to Class 6 and the Suburban Conference Gold Division in 2016. The Trojans jumped to No. 4 in the Missouri Class 6 media rankings after the Gold Division win over Lee’s Summit North, which did put up more than 253 yards rushing on a rebuilding defense.
In Week 2, Park Hill hosts Lee’s Summit, which defeated the Trojans 20-12 a year ago.
“We like to break it up into thirds so we felt like last year our goal was to win the first three ball games and that goal hasn’t changed at all this year,” Hood said. “Lee’s Summit tripped us up at their place last time so we’re excited about having the opportunity to play them again and have them on our field. And the kids are excited about getting the chance to see them this year.”