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Weather, injury to QB can't stop Pirates

Status of QB Campbell unclear for this week's game

by Tad Brewer
Landmark reporter

A thunderstorm and an injured quarterback weren't enough to keep the Platte County Pirates from beating Harrisonville 24-0 in a game that started Friday night and was finished Saturday afternoon after weather forced a postponement of the second half.

The Pirates got off to a quick start finding success in running the ball on the Harrisonville Wildcats defense. Senior running back Zach Sherman was the first person to find the end zone in the ball game. After the touchdown Harrisonville jumped off sides before the extra point attempt. This penalty moved the ball half of the distance to the goal. This led the Pirates to attempt a two-point conversion. Senior quarterback Robbie Campbell handed the ball off to the 5-9, 190 pound Sherman who sprinted into the left side of the end zone converting the two points. Platte County was up 8-0 early in the game.

Platte County’s defense remained tough and kept the Wildcats’ offense from making any progress throughout the first quarter.

Some more strong running by Sherman would lead to the Pirates' next score. They carried the ball down the field but could not get the football in for a touchdown. Platte County did, however, convert on a field goal attempt from 37 yards out by junior kicker Nick Jaros. This gave the Pirates an 11-0 lead.

The final score of the first half would come in the second quarter. Platte County yet again ran the ball down the field against the Harrisonville defense. Sherman ran the ball in for his second touchdown of the game. Jaros then converted on the extra point attempt making the score 18-0 going into halftime.

As halftime arrived, a severe thunderstorm rolled into the area. Heavy rain and plentiful lightning led to the game being postponed. No break in the storm was in sight, so the second half was rescheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.

As the Pirates prepared for the restart of the game, they decided to let Campbell sit out and nurse an arm that had been injured the night before off of a late hit by a Harrisonville defensive lineman. The night before Campbell had been 3-7 with 20 yards passing.

With Campbell sitting out the second half, sophomore Chris Hawkins would take over at quarterback for the Pirates, who had an 18-0 lead.

The Platte County offense could not get any momentum going throughout the entire second half. Hawkins was 0-8 passing, and the offense only had four first downs through the entire second half.

The Pirates had to rely solely on their defense to keep the shutout. The defense stayed strong throughout the entire game.

In the third quarter, Jaros was playing cornerback and he intercepted a pass and returned it 64 yards for a touchdown giving the Pirates a 24-0 lead. The extra point was no good, but that would not matter.

Platte County played tough defensively, cutting all of the Wildcats’ momentum with an interception by junior linebacker Cory Williams.

The Pirates would go on to win the game, shutting out Harrisonville 24-0, moving Platte County to 2-0 on the season.

“We played hard through the entire game,” said head coach Chip Sherman. “We have to continue to improve to reach our goals.”

Platte County finished the game with 14 first downs and 183 total yards. The Pirates had 20 yards passing and 163 yards rushing, 128 of those yards came from Sherman. Sherman also had two rushing touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Jaros was 1-2 on extra point attempts and 1-1 on field goals with a 37 yard conversion.

The defense dominated Harrisonville the entire game shutting them out. Platte County held the Wildcats to 91 yards off of 53 total plays. The Harrisonville quarterback was 4-17 with two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The Wildcats had just 8 first downs off of 53 plays. Of those eight first downs, five of were converted by penalties.

The leading tacklers for Platte County were juniors Travis Frogge and Aaron Bernard who each had six. Sherman had five tackles throughout the game.

The Pirates' next action will come at home on this Friday when Northeast comes into town. At this point it is unsure whether or not Campbell will be ready to play. If he is not ready, Hawkins will get the start at quarterback.