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Northeast just an organized practice for Pirates

by Tad Brewer
Landmark reporter

Going into their matchup against Northeast, the Platte County Pirates did not figure that they would have to struggle for a win. Platte County saw this game as a way to refine their skills and to get prepared for some of their up- coming events, and won it easily, 67-0.

Senior quarterback Robbie Campbell had been injured the week before during the Platte County victory at Harrisonville.

Entering the contest against Northeast, it was unclear whether or not Campbell would suit up, or how serious his injuries were. Campbell did decide to lead his team against Northeast.

Platte County would start the game off with a long opening kickoff by junior Nick Jaros, letting Northeast start the game deep in their own territory. The Vikings found themselves three and out on their opening series.

Northeast narrowly got their punt off, which was picked up by sophomore Ryan Weedin and returned down to the Viking five yard line.

The long return for Platte County would set up an eventual one yard touchdown run by junior fullback Matt Prout. The extra point was true by Jaros.

On the kickoff after the touchdown, the Pirates would catch the Vikings off guard with an onside kick that was recovered by Junior Aaron Bernard.

Platte County passed the ball down the field past the Northeast defense. The Vikings made a stand once the Pirates had gotten inside of the ten yard line. But on fourth and goal, Campbell connected to senior wide receiver Chase Verdoorn for a seven yard touchdown pass. Jaros’ extra point attempt was good.

Jaros squib kicked the ball down to Northeast.

Platte County made another strong defensive hold on the Vikings forcing them to go three and out again and need to punt. The Pirates intentionally let the punt get off and did not return it to set up a longer playing field for themselves.

The Pirates moved the ball down the field with a couple of big passes and running plays. Eventually, Prout rushed the ball ten yards into the end zone for his second touchdown of the night, making the score 21-0 after the extra point is added on.

The Platte County defense held Northeast to nothing for yet another series. Shortly after the Pirates reclaimed possession of the ball, the game entered the second quarter.

Once the Pirates got inside the ten yard line again, Campbell hooks up with the wide open, 6-3, senior wide receiver Mitch Black for his first varsity touchdown. Jaros then adds his fourth extra point of the night making the score 28-0.

Yet another strong defensive stand by Platte County allowed the Pirates to get the ball back quickly.

After Platte County had gotten the ball back from Northeast, the Pirates again march the ball down the field past the Viking defense. At about the 20 yard line, Campbell stepped under senior center Joe Bullock, and unloaded a 20 yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Cory Williams. This was Campbell’s third touchdown pass of the night, making the score now 35-0, still in the second quarter.

Jaros provided a deep kick off for the Pirates, putting the ball deep in Viking territory.

Before Northeast could get anything going on their drive, junior cornerback Luke Rainy intercepted the quarterback’s pass and returned it for 19 yards for another Platte County touchdown.

A strong Platte County defense forced another short series for Northeast, who yet again has to punt away the ball.

In the Pirates’ final drive of the first half, they ran, and passed over the Viking defense, bringing the ball down to the 13 yard line. Once there, Campbell unloaded his fourth touchdown pass of the night for 13 yards to Williams. Jaros does not convert on the extra point. This makes the score 48-0 as the game went into halftime.

Platte County started off second half action by receiving the kickoff. It is a short kickoff returned by junior Brent Parker, who is playing an up man position.

The Pirates first score of the second half comes form a handoff by Campbell to senior Zach Sherman who runs the ball 44 yards for his first touchdown of the night. Sophomore Brett Lemons attempts the point after try and converts it, giving the Pirates a 55-0 lead over Northeast.

Lemons kicked an onside kick that is recovered by sophomore Brandon Fogal of Platte County.

The Pirates take out their starting offense, and sophomore Chris Hawkins takes over at quarterback for the Pirates. Hawkins leads the team down the field, and gets his first varsity touchdown pass on a seven yard pass to senior Richard Clarkson. This time the extra point is not good, so the score is 61-0.

Platte County removes their starting defenders, and the new Pirate defense that enters the game picks up where the starters left off, preventing the Vikings from gaining hardly any yardage.

Neither team scores throughout the rest of the third quarter.

With 23 seconds left in the game, Northeast is finally making a move on the Platte County defense. The Vikings have managed to get the ball down to the 23 yard line of the Pirates when they attempt a running play.

The Northeast halfback fumbles the ball and it is picked up by Clarkson who scrambles 77 yards down the field for the final touchdown of the game. There is another missed extra point, and the score is 67-0 with 1.5 seconds left in the game.

The Pirates then move to 3-0 on the season so far.

Platte County had a total offense of 476 yards. Of the 476 yards, 307 came on the ground while 169 came through the air.

“We balanced up the offense real well,” said head coach Chip Sherman. “That was the goal for the night.”

Zach Sherman was the leading rusher for the Pirates. He had 218 yards on 14 attempts, and 1 touchdown.

Campbell was the leading passer completing 10 for 153 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The Platte County offense had 26 first downs throughout the game.

The Pirate defense held Northeast to just four first downs, some of the came off of penalties. The Vikings were held to just 19 yards of total offense as compared to Platte County’s 476 yards of offense.

Rainy had the only interception of the night, which went for a touchdown, and Clarkson had the only fumble recovery of the night, which also went for a touchdown.

The leading tacklers for Platte County were junior Travis Frogge with seven, Prout and Bernard with six each, and senior Tyler Warner with four.

Platte County will travel up to Benton in St. Joseph, Sept. 21.

“If we want to win, we will have to continue to balance up the offence,” Sherman said. “We’ll have to continue to improve and play good solid defense and special teams.”

The Pirates’ next home game will be Sept. 28 against MEC Conference rival Chillicothe. Platte County has won eight straight over Chillicothe.