Park Hill started fast, and this time, the Trojans didn’t let up on the way to their biggest win of the season.
Behind three touchdown passes from junior quarterback Billy Maples to senior wide receiver Quinton Harris, Park Hill rolled to a 38-12 win against Liberty North on Friday, Oct. 7 on the campus of William Jewell in Liberty, Mo. The Trojans improved to 5-3 and have now won two straight for the first time this season, making a leap in the Class 6 District 4 standings.
Park Hill’s first four wins were tighter, and two of them — Lee’s Summit North and Raymore-Peculiar — featured late comeback bids.
This time around, Park Hill jumped to a 21-0 lead with touchdowns on the first three possessions. Dorian Clayton, a junior running back who finished with a team-high 105 yards on the ground, scored on the fifth play with a 2-yard run, and after a three-and-out, Maples and Harris cashed in a short field with an 8-yard touchdown pass.
The duo hooked up again with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in the first quarter on a 25-yarder to put the Trojans up 21-0.
Khalid Smith and Kameron Kelly — both senior defensive backs — grabbed interceptions in the end zone to end Liberty North’s next two drives and keep the shutout intact. Park Hill went into halftime up 24-0 after senior kicker Parker Sampson turned one of the turnovers into a chip shot 24-yard field goal.
The second half ended up more even.
Liberty North scored on a pair of long plays from senior Jon Redmond — a 90-yard run late in the third quarter and an 80-yard reception on the next possession. In between, Chester Graves — Park Hill’s senior defensive end — returned a kickoff 55 yards to set up a 27-yard touchdown pass from Maples to Hill on the next play.
Redmond’s 90-yard run came with 2:05 left in the third quarter, and the Trojans’ answer came just 18 seconds later.
Clayton added his second touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Maples finished with 192 yards passing with six completions to both Harris and sophomore Joseph Webb. Harris led the Trojans with 93 yards receiving while Webb had 46.
Park Hill senior linebacker Seven Wilson led the defense with 10 tackles (four for loss) and two sacks. Graves added another sack.
The win vaulted Park Hill to the fifth spot in the Class 6 District 4 standings heading into the regular season finale against Blue Springs South (4-4), which won last year’s opener with the Trojans on the way to an undefeated Class 6 state title. Park Hill moved up from Class 5 after last season and had been near the bottom of the eight-team standings for much of the year but would play at No. 4 Rockhurst (4-4) if the standings hold.
Park Hill likely will remain as the No. 4 or No. 5 regardless of outcome but could earn the right to host a first-round district game with a win and Rockhurst loss to Jefferson City (5-3).