Grandview players loitered on the field at Pirate Stadium well after the whistle. They smiled and laughed, patiently waiting to meet the star of the game and maybe the most prolific scorer in state history.
Platte County senior Chandler Peterson sheepishly accepted requests for selfies and inquiries about his social media profiles after scoring six goals in the Pirates’ 8-0 win over Grandview on Thursday, Oct. 12. Just one week after an injury scare, he managed to up his record goal pace while the opposition increasingly takes notice of his impressive exploits.
The chase seemed possibly at an end a week earlier when Peterson went down with a left hip injury in the first half of a loss to Park Hill, leaving the field on a golf cart and spending time that night in the emergency room.
“I was worried,” said Peterson, who has had surgery on both hips to repair labrum issues — procedures not expected to create long-term problems. “I thought I was out.”
Over the weekend, Peterson ended up practicing with no pain, and he was back in the lineup four days later for a 5-0 win over Raytown South. He scored three goals.
That left Peterson in position to knock out another record against Grandview.
On Peterson’s first chance of the night, Grandview’s goalkeeper denied a point-blank header off of a pinpoint cross from Platte County junior Blake Cochran. Peterson failed to follow up the shot and missed a chance to add to his goal total.
“I was disappointed,” Peterson said. “I panicked a little bit, but I got myself together and (the goals) came.”
In the 9th minute, a Grandview defender hauled down Peterson in the 18-yard box, and he stepped up to the spot and buried the resulting penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.
Cochran set up Peterson with another cross for a headed goal in the 23rd minute, and he completed his hat trick four minutes later after a shot trickled in past the goalkeeper at the near post. Peterson finished the first half with all five goals — three on assists from Cochran — to put the Pirates up 5-0.
“It’s nice to get him the assists leading him to the record,” Cochran said. “It’s pretty easy. All you have to do is touch it to him, and he’s gone.
“I love getting the assists. An assist to him is like a goal to me.”
Peterson’s fourth goal, on a solo effort off of a turnover, gave Peterson 62 on the season, and he broke Platte County’s single season record of 61 he set as a junior on the play.
“Heading into this game, I was pretty sure I could break it,” Peterson said. “I’m pretty satisfied.”
Platte County junior Ethan Dolan scored Platte County’s first goal of the second half, but Peterson would add a sixth in the 51st minute. He carved out a small amount of space before whistling a right-footed shot into the net from 19 yards out to make it 7-0.
Before departing with about 13 minutes left, Peterson used some fancy footwork in Grandview’s 18-yard box to open up a pass to Dolan, who tapped in a shot from point blank for his second goal and the last tally in the victory. Platte County coach Ashlyn Brantley rested her star at the end of each half, relieved to see him at full strength.
“Finding out he had no pain all weekend and that he’s feeling good gave us hope,” she said. “The fact that we got to use him Tuesday and now today, I think it gives us some confidence going into these next few games. I didn’t panic. In the moments (after the injury), it was concern for him. It’s not even really about the team.
“He’s a senior. I want him to get to play those last few games with his team, and I think he wants that, too. You could tell from the look on his face.”
Platte County improved to 15-5 overall (pending the result of a Tuesday, Oct. 17 game at North Kansas City) and 8-0 in Suburban Conference Blue Division play. The Pirates had two more regular season games on the schedule before being scheduled to open Class 3 District 16 play against third-seeded Kearney on Monday, Oct. 23 in Smithville, Mo.
After the win over Grandview, Peterson had 64 goals in his career — third most in state history, one away from second and eight away from the record of 72 Eric Ooton of St. Pius X set in 2005. Peterson was at 165 for his four-year career, just 17 off of the Missouri state record of 182 Rolla’s Aaron Froehlich set from 2010-2013.
With a clean bill of health from doctors, Peterson will be free to pursue those marks while also trying to lead Platte County to a second straight playoff appearance and third in four seasons. He’s averaging 3.20 goals per game — by far the highest mark recorded in state history — and was always going to be an integral part of the team’s postseason goals.
To make it back into the playoffs, Platte County will likely need to avenge a 3-2 overtime loss to top-seeded Smithville earlier this season — a matchup decided on a penalty kick in the final minute of extra time.
Platte County 5, Raytown South 0
Peterson returned to action with a hat trick Tuesday, Oct. 10 at Pirate Stadium coming off his injury scare. He scored the opener in the Blue Division matchup during the first half and finished his hat trick in the second half.
Peterson played 71 minutes. Chase Peterson and Cochran also scored for Platte County, which went to overtime in the first meeting with the Cardinals this season.