Park Hill football overcomes early struggles to down Ray-Pec

In need of a win, Park Hill faced more resistance than expected Friday, Oct. 29 in Peculiar, Mo.

Raymore-Peculiar jumped to a 12-3 lead, forcing a response from the Trojans already coming into the Suburban Conference Gold Division matchup off of consecutive losses. They found the answer in the form of five unanswered touchdowns on the way to a 38-25 win.

Park Hill senior quarterback Billy Maples overcame a pair of early interceptions and threw for 370 yards on 20 completions and three touchdowns. He also added a scrambling 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to put the Trojans ahead 38-12.

An early 26-yard field goal from Davin Dorrell put Park Hill up 3-0, but Raymore-Peculiar put up the next two touchdowns.

Park Hill ended up forcing four turnovers — interceptions for linebackers Jarrett Ross and Seth Garrison and two fumble recoveries. Up 31-12, the fumble recoveries ended back-to-back Raymore-Peculiar possessions in the third quarter. The Trojans were unable to score any points off of Ross’ recovery, but after a punt, Park Hill senior defensive back Devin Haney fell on another loose ball leading to Maples’ short touchdown run where he fumbled the ball into the end zone and recovered it himself.

Park Hill needed two touchdowns late in the second quarter to take a 17-12 lead into halftime.

The big play came early in the third quarter when Maples hit junior Payton Stanfield over the top for an 81-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-12. He now has touchdown receptions in consecutive games, helping the Trojans cope with the injury to senior standout DJ Johnson.

Maples’ touchdown passes went to Stanfield, Joe Webb and Damian Sigers, while senior Ronnie Bell had six catches for 137 yards — including a 71-yarder — but didn’t score for a second straight game after posting 12 receiving touchdowns in the first five games. Park Hill senior running back Dorian Clayton ran for a team-high 115 yards and a touchdown and now has four consecutive 100-yard games.

Park Hill improved to 5-2 after back-to-back losses to Lawrence Free State (Kan.) and Lee’s Summit West dropped the Trojans from No. 1 after a 4-0 start to No. 6 in the Missouri Media rankings. They remain there entering a Week 8 game against Liberty North (3-4).

Currently, Park Hill remains in a three-way tie for the top spot in the Gold Division standings with Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit West. The Trojans also sit at No. 3 in the Class 6 District 4 standings behind Lee’s Summit West and Rockhurst.