For a team in need of a win, Truman found itself in a good situation early in the second half Friday night.
The Patriots trailed by a touchdown at the break against Park Hill South, but the defense forced a punt and got possession. Truman, at the point, trailed 21-13 and had the ball with a chance to tie.
The Patriots got a 17-yard pass play from Chase Schroeder to Don Edmondson to move to midfield, but the drive fizzled out and a punt followed.
Park Hill South then proceeded to score the first of four second-half touchdowns to roll to a 46-13 victory in a Suburban Large Seven showdown.
“Coming into the half, we felt good,” Truman coach Charlie Pugh said. “We gave them 21. We were feeling good. Had things going our way and were getting stops in the second quarter, defensively. It was a big deal to get the stop (in the third quarter). We talked at halftime that it was an important series and we got it, but we weren't able to capitalize and execute.”
After Truman (0-7, 0-5) was forced to punt, Park Hill South started at its own 35 and needed eight plays to march down and score. Running back Ta'Von Tusa had a pair of first-down carries and, when he went out with an injury, Gaige Warren picked up a 16-yard gain to move outside of the Truman red zone.
The next play, a pass, went in and out of the hands of a Truman defensive back.
“We had that pick and we dropped it – that changes things,” said Pugh, whose Patriots play at Columbia Hickman next week.
Two plays after the dropped pass, Joe Inzenga ran for a 14-yard touchdown. After Truman went four-and-out on the next drive, Matt Suchanick hit Braeden Denney a 39-yard touchdown with 52 seconds left in the third quarter.
Down 34-13, the Patriots then fumbled the kickoff and Park Hill South (2-5, 2-3) recovered at the 50. The five-play drive ended early in the fourth quarter as Tusa ran for a 21-yard touchdown. Suchanick hit Dawson Owen for a 47-yard touchdown with 9 minutes left to account for the final score.
The Patriots, already down nearly a half dozen players because of injuries, had six exit with injuries in this loss, including starting running back/linebacker Andrew Owens in the second half on Denney's touchdown.
Down 21-0 in the second quarter, Truman scored twice in the final 5 minutes. Owens had a 42-yard score up the middle that came after a Park Hill South turnover. Truman punted, but the ball hit a Panther and the Patriots took over at the 47. Two plays later, Owens scored.
Facing a third-and-16 from the 14 with 2 1/2 minutes to play in the second, Schroeder, a converted tight end, hit Edmondson for an 86-yard touchdown. Britton Robinson and Devron Rivera provided key blocks blocks on the play.
“The kids keep fighting,” Pugh said. “It's tough playing 15 guys. I'm proud of the kids. As tough as it is, they keep going.”