Brock Bult knew Park Hill had a solid defense watching film this week.
The Fort Osage coach was aware his offensive line, which is battling injuries, was going to have a challenge. He was right.
The Trojans' defense pressured quarterback Ty Baker all night and got a pair of touchdowns to pick up a 23-7 victory in a non-conference game Friday.
Park Hill turned two of host Fort Osage's three turnovers into 14 points with a pick-six and a short fumble return for the game's final points in the third quarter.
“Our kids played hard all night and fought hard, but we made mistakes early,” Bult said. “We tried to correct them but that is a really good defense. They will give you a lot of offensive issues. We talked that this is a team that we have to beat to get where we want to get. We will watch film and keep working and fix what we need to fix.”
The first quarter featured 17 of the game's 30 points in a 3 1/2-minute span that started with Jackson Austin booting a 23-yard goal for Park Hill with 3:19 left in the first quarter. The kick was tipped at the Fort Osage lined but wobbled its way through the uprights.
Baker quickly moved the Indians (3-3) down the field, but on first-and-10 from the Park Hill 31, he threw a pass that Haden Wallace picked off one-handed – his right hand is in a cast following summer surgery – and ran it back 75 yards for a touchdown.
Up 10-0, momentum quickly shifted away from the Trojans (4-2), winners of four straight.
Von Young IV fielded the kickoff and ran up the middle and then scooted toward his sideline on his way for a 78-yard touchdown to pull the Indians within 10-7.
Park Hill scored on the next possession, mixing in runs from quarterback Ryan Graves and receiver Jaylin Noel, on a jet sweep, to get into the red zone. On first-and-goal from the 7, Graves scored.
The extra point was blocked by Gavyn Monday, making it 16-7.
The Indians got a pair of interceptions but didn't capitalize on them.
The first was a pick by Cahleel Smith that he returned to the Park Hill 32 late in the second quarter. The Indians moved to the 13, but missed a field goal attempt with 26 seconds left in the half.
On Park Hill's first play of the second half, Ethan Parton intercepted Graves. The Indians were at the Park Hill 33 but two sacks by Mikey Miles pushed the ball back to midfield and Fort Osage ultimately punted.
“We knew if we brought pressure, we could get to him and he would have to throw it quick,” Park Hill coach Josh Hood said. “Our kids did a good job of matching short stuff so we could get the plays over quickly.”
Park Hill had a long drive in the third quarter end with a fumble at the Indians' 8-yard line. Young jumped on the loose ball. Two plays later, a bad exchange between the quarterback and running back led to a Fort Osage fumble.
Miles picked it up at the 2 and walked into the end zone for a score on the final play of the third.
The Park Hill defense, which has a defensive line with two juniors getting Division I looks, kept Fort Osage off the board in the fourth. Dating back to the start of the winning streak, the defense has allowed only four touchdowns on its varsity units in four weeks, including upsets of then Class 6 No. 4-ranked Lee's Summit North and then No. 9-Ray-Pec.