North Platte football's win streak ends with loss at Lathrop

Lathrop scored on its very first play from scrimmage Friday, Sept. 22, and the Mules were in control the rest of the way.

North Platte committed four turnovers in a 45-0 loss in Lathrop, Mo. a week after the Panthers turned in their best performance of the season. They dropped to 2-2 in KCI Conference play with a two-game winning streak snapped.

Lathrop (5-1) — receiving votes in the most recent Class 2 Missouri media poll — entered off of a 7-2 loss to Lawson and took out its frustrations.

After forcing a quick punt, the Mules scored with 10 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter. They put up touchdowns on each of the first two drives, then added a field goal and a third long touchdown run early in the second quarter to make it 24-0.

The backbreaking play came when North Platte sophomore Andrew Hernandez — making his third straight start at quarterback — threw an interception returned for a 70-yard touchdown with 1:38 left in the half.

Hernandez finished 6-for-19 for 66 yards with three interceptions.

North Platte ran for just 64 yards. Remington Wilson, a senior running back, led the ball carriers with 34 yards on 11 attempts while Hernandez gained 31 on 15 carries. Hunter Hendricks, a junior, hauled in four passes for 49 yards in his second straight standout performance for the Panthers, while Corbin Green had one grab for 31 yards when senior Austin Snook — the starter at QB the first three weeks — threw his only pass.

Lathrop’s running game racked up big chunks of yardage, and Wilson led North Platte’s defense with nine tackles and a forced fumble from his linebacker spot. Snook recorded a sack, while Green and Joel Smyser recovered fumbles.

North Platte (2-4) entered off of wins over Mid-Buchanan (35-32) and West Platte (33-14) — two conference and Class 1 District 7 victories. The Panthers remained at No. 4 in the district standings while set to face East Buchanan (5-1), Hamilton (5-1) and Plattsburg (3-3) in the final three weeks of the regular season.

East Buchanan, which travels to North Platte on Friday, Sept. 29, currently leads the KCI with a 4-0 record.