South football surges in 2nd half, can't hold off William Chrisman

A quick second-half flurry ended up being not quite enough.

Park Hill South took a brief lead with a pair of third quarter touchdowns, but William Chrisman scored 20 unanswered to finish a 33-14 win in a Class 5 District 7 semifinal Friday, Oct. 27 in Independence, Mo. The Panthers lost their postseason opener, entering the bracket as defending champion.

In a season riddled with injuries, Park Hill South finished at 4-6. The Panthers came into the season off of a bounceback 10-2 season that ended in the 2016 Class 5 quarterfinals.

The defense shined at times, but the combination of 1,000-yard rusher Ta’Von Tusa — a junior running back transfer from Bishop Miege (Kan.) — and the revolving quarterback spot couldn’t keep pace. Billy Eggers and Taylor Tobin, both seniors, started the year splitting time at quarterback, but bother were lost for the season in a Week 3 loss to Park Hill.

Park Hill South coach Mike Sharp turned to sophomore Matt Suchanick for the final seven games. The Panthers won in his first two starts to improve to 3-2, but they lost four of the next five.

William Chrisman took a 13-0 halftime lead behind an 80-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter and an interception return to set up a second score midway through the second quarter.

Park Hill South recovered a pair of fumbles early in the third quarter, leading to touchdowns for junior running back Beau Buford with Tusa limited due to an ankle injury suffered in the regular season finale. The second extra point put the Panthers up 14-13, but they didn’t score again.

In the final game, Park Hill South had just six seniors on the field, including all-state offensive tackle Ben Becker, offensive linemen Christian Holferty and Christian Pirnack and linebacker Conner Campbell.