Blue Springs South suffers another close loss

By Ryan Edwards staff writer

Blue Springs South and Park Hill came into Friday’s game at Blue Springs South each looking for its first win.

Both the Trojans and Jaguars haven’t had any breaks on their respective schedules to open the season, and Friday’s slugfest at South's Stewart Memorial Stadium proved to be no different as Park Hill walked away with a 21-17 win thanks to stout defense that shut out an improving South offense in the second half.

For South, it was its third straight close loss after comebacks fell just short in a 17-12 loss to Lee's Summit North and a 28-21 loss to Lee's Summit West.

“At the end of every single game we’re missing out on something,” Jaguars coach Matt Klein said. “We’re fine. I think it’s just getting over that hump. To be right there at the end and step up in a big moment when the game is on the line…we’re obviously close. We’ve just got to keep working toward that.”

Park Hill coach Josh Hood was worried about his team's start.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted to,” he said. “We’ve got to find a way to stop that from happening.”

To Hood’s point, it was the host Jaguars who looked poised for a big night early.

After both teams punted on their opening drives, South offense found its rhythm after an Isaiah Frost punt return set up South with good field possession.

Four plays into the drive, Klein rewarded Frost by dialing up his number as Luke Fellers floated a 15-yard pass into the end zone, giving the Jaguars an early 7-0 lead.

On Park Hill’s ensuing possession, the Jaguars’ defense came up big, as Rex Regier undercut a pass route and intercepted Anthony Hall's pass, setting up South in Park Hill territory.

Three plays later, the Jaguars scored as Fellers threw his second touchdown of the night to Jayden Steele from 3-yards to extend South’s lead to 14-0.

Park Hill clawed its way back into the game as Hall threw touchdown passes of 56 and 8 yards to pull the Trojans even in the second quarter.

South threatened to score a late touchdown just before half, but the Trojans held up, forcing South to settle for Jack Brickhouse's 22-yard field goal as time expired.

“The staff did a great job,” Hood said. “We went in there (late in the second quarter) and made some adjustments to slow down their (South’s) rush game. … Coach Klein does a great job over there.”

Park Hill took its first lead of the game midway through the third quarter as Darrien Jones capped off a 14-play, 67-yard drive with a 6-yard run up the gut.

To preserve their first win of the season, the Trojan defense made a couple stops in the fourth quarter.

South’s Steele scored what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown with 3:34 left in the game, but an illegal block in the back nullified the touchdown. One play later, Steele fumbled on fourth down – after picking up the necessary yardage to convert the first down.

Two other South possessions in Park Hill territory ended on downs.