KANSAS CITY, MO – Different doesn’t quite work when facing Blue Springs. At least, Park Hill South found out the hard way on Friday night.
The Wildcats handled Park Hill South, 49-14 on Friday night at Park Hill District Athletic Complex.
“We thought we could do something different to stop them, and of course, their something different was pretty good too,” said PH South head coach Mark Simcox.
Coach Simcox’s gameplan was to shut down what was successful for Blue Springs last week – Simone award winner senior running back Dalvin Warmack – who scored three touchdowns against St. Joe Central.
But the Panthers instead were unable to stop the “X Factor” Darrius Shepherd, a senior, who scored four touchdowns and had over 300 all-purpose yards. Shepherd was heard from seconds after the opening whistle as he connected with quarterback Ian Brown on a dump pass six yards deep in his own endzone which went for a 98-yard touchdown pass on the second play from scrimmage.
The Panthers battled back minutes later with senior RB Cory Land breaking through the Wildcat secondary to score on a 36 yard touchdown pass beautifully thrown in the far corner of the endzone from junior Shaefer Schuetz. Shepherd scored twice more for the Wildcats minutes later on TD passes from Brown for 31 and 44 yards.
The Panthers made a game of it, however, in the second quarter by countering with a 25 yard TD pass Schuetz to Land with under a minute to go in the half making the score a respectable 28-14.
But with no time on the clock, Wildcat quarterback Ian Brown scrambled around in his backfield and flung a Hail Mary from the Panther 45 yard line. Senior Kaleb Prewett jumped over three defenders to come down with the ball in the end zone as time expired in the half and knocking the wind out of the Panthers and their crowd. Halftime score 35-14 and Park Hill South would never recover. Four receiving touchdowns for Shepherd and only one for Warmack who was held to under 100 yards.
Final score following a running-clock fourth quarter was 49-14. “I thought we were better at the end than we were at the beginning, so that’s what we were after,” Simcox would say following the defeat.
For 13-year Wildcat head coach Kelly Donohoe, he wasn’t completely pleased with the way the Panthers were able to negate the K-State commit Warmack.
“I’m a little disappointed. We didn’t get No. 1 (Warmack) going the way we need to every week.” Coach Donohoe went on to declare to his team that it is now “Rock Week” referring to next week’s opponent, the 0-2 Rockhurst Hawklets who will take on the State Champion in Blue Springs next Friday in a clash of titans.
For the Panthers, they fall to 1-1 and hope to lick their wounds against 0-2 Truman in their conference opener in Independence.
In the end, Blue Springs just had too much and looks every bit like a team who will compete for a State Championship in late October.