BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. —Platte County’s trio of Missouri All-Stars didn’t factor in the scoring, but Mike McNair, Kevin Neal and TJ Guillory took advantage of playing together one final time.
Missouri scored 17 unanswered points in the second half of a 17-7 victory over Kansas in the annual Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association All-Star Game played Thursday, June 15 at Blue Springs South High School. All three Pirates were three-year starters who finished their high school careers this past fall.
“It was truly an honor,” said Neal, signed to play at Division II Washburn in Topeka, Kan. “It was so cool to meet up with the best players in the metro and get to compete for one last time.”
Park Hill’s Parker Sampson capped the scoring outburst on a 24-yard field goal with 9 minutes, 23 seconds to play.
Neal and the defense couldn’t quite hold the shutout, giving up a late touchdown in what ended up Missouri’s seventh straight win in the all-star game. The Show-Me State now holds a 14-11 advantage in the friendly rivalry series.
“It was such an honor to be selected and to actually come out here and play for them,” said Park Hill South’s Trace Weatherford, who played tight end for Missouri. “I wanted to since I started playing for Park Hill South and it was always a goal and I was just excited to be out here.”
The two teams played to a scoreless first half.
Sampson, who also hit both of his point-after tries, missed a 44-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter that would have put Missouri ahead. Penalties negated a pair of touchdowns on the same drive for Kansas later in the half.
On the first drive of the second half, Kearney quarterback Anthony Pritzel hit Center’s Cristian Cox for a 68-yard touchdown, and Missouri led 7-0. Three plays later, Deonovan McKinzy tipped a pass, and Center’s John Taylor intercepted the ball and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
Sampson, signed to Division II defending national champion Northwest Missouri State, added the extra point to make it 14-0.
Kansas didn’t recover from the barrage.
After Sampson’s short field goal, Missouri mostly ran out the clock with McNair chipping in runs of 9 and 8 yards. He finished with six carries for 40 yards, while Guillory ran twice from his wide receiver spot for 7 yards to go with one catch for no gain.
Defensive statistics were not kept.
“Most of these guys come out here by themselves,” said Guillory, signed to William Jewell in Liberty, Mo. “It felt good having people I know coming in and just getting in there with all of the other guys was great.”
Prior to the game, the teams, coaches and fans held a moment of silence in honor of all players and coaches who died during the past year. That included West Platte coach Nate Danneman, killed this past April at the age of 37 in a traffic accident on Interstate 29.
Chester Graves, who also graduated from Park Hill this year, was awarded the 2016-2017 Ronald Warren Award for Missouri Outstanding Linebacker before the game began.