South football looking for momentum in regular season finale

Park Hill South enters the final week of the season in dire need of some momentum.

The defending Class 5 District 7 champions ended up with a 35-3 loss Friday, Oct. 6 against Lee’s Summit North in Lee’s Summit, Mo. The Panthers have dropped three straight entering the regular season finale Friday, Oct. 13 against Truman in a Suburban Conference Red Division matchup at Park Hill District Stadium.

Park Hill South (3-5) had scored 26 points during the losing skid, and the Panthers’ offensive point total has gone down each game since a 23-22 win over St. Joseph Central in Week 4. They beat Raytown 19-15 the following week but have since put up 14, nine and now three since breaking over .500 for the only time this season.

With Truman (1-7) also in Class 5 District 7, this week’s matchup takes on added importance. Park Hill South continues to rank No. 3 in the five-team field behind Fort Osage (6-2) and William Chrisman (5-3). A win against Truman would assure the Panthers of a first-round bye with a likely second round game against William Chrisman.

Park Hill South’s unproven offense suffered another setback in the matchup with Lee’s Summit North, which jumped to a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.

Stephen Personelli, a senior, hit a 32-yard field goal late in the first half for what ended up the Panthers’ lone points. They managed 12 first downs but just 159 yards of offense on 67 plays.

Ta’Von Tusa — a junior running back — carried on 25 of those plays, but he ended up with just 80 yards and a long of 13. Matt Suchanick, the sophomore thrust into the starting quarterback role midseason, completed just 4 of 22 passes for 39 yards while running for 37 more.

Drake Chandler led Park Hill South’s receivers with two catches for 34 yards, including the long of 24.

Neither team had a turnover, but Lee’s Summit North ran for 375 yards to control the clock and the game. The Broncos added a touchdown in each of the final two quarters to finish off the nonconference win.

Park Hill South defensive lineman Etinosa Reuben led the defense with 12 tackles (one for loss) and a forced fumble.