A week after putting up 31 points against Blue Springs, offense was at much more of a premium for Lee’s Summit North on Friday night against Park Hill at Preston Field in Parkville.
The two top-10 Class 6 teams combined for just 13 points, with the lone touchdown not coming until the second quarter, of the No. 9 Trojans’ (3-1) 10-3 win over the No. 6 Broncos (2-2).
After marching 68 yards on 12 straight runs by Keyon Mozee, Park Hill’s defense made the biggest play of the night on the Bronco senior’s 13th carry. Linebacker Mikey Miles came out of the pile at the 2-yard line with the ball after a Mozee fumble, snuffing out Lee’s Summit North’s first drive and setting the tone for what would be a defensive slugfest.
“I knew in that formation we were in initially was going to cause them problems,” Lee’s Summit North head coach Jamar Mozee said. “I didn’t know how it was going to end up, so getting that touchdown is important, and we didn’t get it. We just flat out didn’t get it; they ripped the ball out of our hands, and we don’t get it and lose 10-3. You just don’t know what play is going to decide the game.”
The Trojans, who scored just three points a week ago against Liberty North, responded to the Broncos’ 6:33 opening drive by going 98 yards on 17 plays and chewing up 6:49 seconds. The final play of the drive, quarterback Anthony Hall’s 10th straight completion, was a 2-yard scoring strike from the junior signal caller to wide receiver Evan Samborski, who finished with 55 yards on 11 catches.
“When they were moving the ball, I knew we were in a dog fight,” Jamar Mozee said. “They came to play. I knew they would. They lost last week and what I saw on tape, I knew that wasn’t the real them.”
The Broncos came right back, however, before stalling out at the Trojans’ 35-yard line. With the wind behind his kicker, Jamar Mozee sent on senior kicker Devin DeRousse, who banked the 52-yard field goal off the crossbar to cut into the Park Hill lead with 6:20 to go until halftime.
“It caught me off guard,” Jamar Mozee said. “It was amazing. My special teams coach talked me into it. I said, ‘Let’s do it,’ and he kicked it and made it. He’s been doing a good job all year.”
The score remained 7-3 as the teams went into halftime, but the Trojans’ offense channeled its early game success on the first drive of the second half, converting three separate fourth downs on a 24-play drive that sputtered at the Broncos’ 4-yard line, forcing Park Hill to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Grant Pella with 3:14 to play in the third quarter.
As time ticked away and the teams traded punts – six in total – Park Hill bottled up Keyon Mozee, who still managed to finish with 120 yards on 21 carries, and Lee’s Summit North had two separate drives that lost steam before midfield, including one that saw a big first down completion from junior quarterback Carlton Perkins to junior Logan Muckey called back due to holding – one of the small things Mozee said could have changed the outcome of the game.
“It was a dog fight,” Jamar Mozee said. “We responded, we just missed opportunities. That’s tough, that penalty – that holding call – we got a first down there and I think we’re going to move it. I’m nitpicking, but little things like that matter a lot. I think that’s what it came down to.”
Now forced to regroup, the Broncos return home to face Liberty (2-2), which is coming off a 14-3 loss to Liberty North, next Friday night.
“You got to do everything right,” Jamar Mozee said. “No game’s going to be perfect, but when you’re supposed to score, you gotta score. Big downs, you can’t hold. Stuff like that … just being consistent and continuing to try and get better.”