North Platte didn’t have the offense to keep pace in a second straight KCI Conference loss.
Lawson rolled early to a big halftime lead and went on to a 47-19 win despite three late scores for the Panthers on Friday, Sept. 9 in Lawson, Mo. North Platte lost its second straight and dropped to 1-3 overall, setting up a big Class 1 District 7 matchup this week with banged-up rival West Platte (1-3, 0-2).
North Platte dropped to seventh out of eight teams in the District 7 standings, while West Platte sits at No. 5. Four teams have a 1-3 record in District 7 with Mid-Buchanan at No. 3 with a 2-2 mark.
The winner between West Platte and North Platte takes a big step toward trying to claim one of the top four spots and a home game in the first round of the postseason. West Platte has won 12 straight in the series dating back to 2006, and the Bluejays won both meetings last year, including the Class 1 District 7 title game.
North Platte will enter the rivalry game and annual battle for “The Tobacco Stick” on the same losing streak as last year — two games.
The Panthers didn’t score until late in the third quarter with Lawson in command at 33-0. Junior wide receiver Corbin Green’s 44-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Austin Snook cut the advantage to 33-6, and the two teams exchanged a pair of touchdowns each in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
North Platte senior running back Ben French, who again led the Panthers in rushing with 32 yards on 14 carries, scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass from Snook, who finished 4-for-12 for 103 yards and the two scores. The Panthers’ closed the scoring on sophomore Hunter Hendricks’ first career touchdown, a 9-yarder from freshman backup quarterback Andrew Hernandez.
Overall, North Platte ran for just 78 yards on 31 rushing attempts, averaging 2.5 yards per carry. The Panthers also committed three turnovers with Snook throwing a pick and senior fullback Parker Rotterman losing two fumbles.
French caught two passes for 62 yards, the only player with more than one catch for North Platte.
Lawson also committed three turnovers, and Hernandez returned one 89 yards. Remington Wilson, a senior linebacker, led North Platte with 10 tackles and a sack on defense, while French and Rotterman also tied for the team-high in tackles with 10.
Lathrop 53, West Platte 0
The Bluejays lost a third straight, setting up a familiar scenario against their biggest rival.
Last year, West Platte lost three in a row after a season-opening victory and then turned around the season with a blowout of North Platte. The Bluejays host North Platte this week at the new Rudolph Eskridge Stadium in Weston, Mo. with the homecoming kickoff set for 7 p.m.
West Platte could be minus some key pieces.
After losing senior wide receiver/defensive back Grant Eagen to a season-ending ACL injury in a Week 2 loss to Wellington-Napoleon, the Bluejays played without senior fullback and leading rusher Kyle Tabaka (leg) against Lathrop in a KCI matchup in Lathrop, Mo. The mules took a 40-0 lead into halftime and held a running clock for the entire second half.
West Platte’s Brayan Rodriguez led the Bluejays’ offensive output with 93 rushing yards on 16 attempts. In addition, senior quarterback Nick Miller threw for 55 yards and one interception.
Each team committed four turnovers.