Tusa helps South football start off running smooth

Ta’Von Tusa made an impressive debut, helping Park Hill South start its follow-up campaign with a big victory.

A junior, Tusa ran for a team-high 139 yards and three touchdowns in a 44-6 pasting of Winnetonka on Friday, Aug. 18 in North Kansas City, Mo. The Panthers ran for six touchdowns total in the first game since losing in the Class 5 state quarterfinals a year ago — their first playoff trip since 2010.

Tusa transferred in from Bishop Miege (Kan.) after running for 320 yards and four touchdowns in limited action for the Class 4A state champions last season.

The new backfield presence provided a big boost to an offense without any proven players at the skill positions. Billy Eggers, a senior, started at quarterback and threw for 74 yards while running for two first half touchdowns.

Park Hill South led 14-0 at halftime despite a relatively slow start for the offense.

After forcing a Winnetonka punt to open the game, the Panthers drove the length of the field on 12 plays with Eggers capping the march with a 2-yard score. They forced a fumble in the second quarter that led to Eggers’ second score.

Tusa took over in the third quarter for Park Hill South, running for all three of his touchdowns.  The Panthers also added a safety on an errant punt snap to go in front 37-0.

Winnetonka’s lone score came in the fourth quarter, and Park Hill South responded with Taylor Tobin’s 6-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring.

Park Hill South travels to Grandview on Friday, Aug. 25 for the second nonconference game of the season. The Panthers will be looking to start 2-0 for a second straight season after last year going 10-2, a run that included an eight-game winning streak.

The lone loss in the regular season came in Week 3 against Park Hill, a 24-23 winner in dramatic fashion a year ago. The Trojans have won three straight in the series with the rematch set for Friday, Sept. 1.

Park Hill South remained at No. 10 in the Class 5 Missouri media rankings after the win over Winnetonka.