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Sherman now state's 2nd all-time rushing leader

by Tad Brewer
Landmark reporter

The Platte County Pirate football team improved its record to 7-0 on the season after defeating their conference rival Smithville Warriors 53-7 Friday night.

Smithville had been undefeated in their last 20 Homecoming games, but the top-ranked Pirates ended this streak. Entering the game, Pirate halfback Zach Sherman needed just 109 yards to become the second all-time leading rusher in Missouri.

The Pirates started the game off with a deep kickoff to give the Warriors poor field position to start off the game. The Platte County defense held Smithville and forced them to punt away the ball.

The Pirates took over possession of the ball on their own 49-yard line. With 8:04 left in the first quarter, senior quarterback Robbie Campbell would hit senior wide receiver David Poolman with a 25-yard touchdown pass. Junior Nick Jaros kicked the extra point concluding a 7 play, 51 yard drive.

Smithville started their next drive on their own 20-yard line after a touchback on the kickoff. The Platte County defense dominated Smithville’s offense forcing them to punt again.

The Pirates quickly moved the ball down the field on 3 plays, covering 65 yards. Senior wide receiver Chase Verdoorn pulled in a 38-yard pass from Campbell for another Pirate touchdown with 3:46 remaining in the quarter. Jaros converted the extra point giving the Pirates a 14-0 lead.

Platte County’s defense stifled Smithville’s offense, holding them to negative yardage. Smithville was forced to punt out of their end zone. The Warriors long snapper snapped the ball over the punters head and out of the back of the end zone, which was a safety and gave the Pirates two more points and a 16-0 lead with 2:49 remaining in the quarter.

Smithville kicked off to Platte County after the safety. Jaros returned the kickoff 60 yards for the Pirates, advancing the ball all the way to the Warrior 13-yard line. On the next play Sherman rushed the ball into the end zone from 13 yards out. With 2:29 left in the first quarter, Jaros kicked the extra point, extending the Pirate lead to 23 points.

Smithville was finally able to get the ball back, but would quickly give it back to Platte County. The Warrior running back fumbled the ball and junior defensive lineman Aaron Bernard recovered it for the Pirates.

On the next play after the fumble recovery, Sherman added to his rushing yards with a 23-yard touchdown run for the Pirates. Jaros made the extra point and gave the Pirates a 30-0 lead with 1:26 remaining in the first quarter.

Smithville received the ball and ran out the time in the first quarter. As the Warriors went to punt away the ball, they fumbled the snap in the end zone and recovered it, but not before another special team's safety for the Pirates just six seconds into the second quarter with 11:54 remaining.

The Pirates received the kickoff again after the Smithville safety. Junior fullback Matt Prout helped to move the ball down the field for Platte County with a 49-yard run. Verdoorn would end the 4 play, 64 yard drive with a 3-yard rush for a touchdown. The extra point was good by Jaros, and the Pirates had a 39-0 lead over Smithville with 10:32 left in the half.

Platte County’s defense yet again held Smithville to no yardage and forced them to punt the ball away.

Just two plays after the punt, Sherman broke a 78-yard touchdown run, which gave him enough yardage to move into Missouri’s second all-time leading rusher slot with 7:48 remaining in the first half. Jaros converted the extra point extending the Pirate lead to 46-0.

The final score of the game for Platte County came with 5:26 left in the first half. Verdoorn returned a punt 59 yards for a touchdown. Jaros made the extra point and gave the Pirates a 53-0 lead at halftime.

The Platte County junior varsity squad played the entire second half for them.

They gave up a 56-yard kickoff return to start the half. Soon after Smithville put the ball in the end zone with a 26-yard pass for their only score of the night, with 10:34 reaming in the third quarter.

Neither team scored throughout the rest of the game making the final score 53-7.

“I thought the team came out really, really excited and ready to play,” said head coach Chip Sherman. “They showed they were ready to play with all of their intensity and enthusiasm.”

Platte County had 349 total yards of offense, 266 came on the ground, and 83 through the air.

Sherman rushed for 177 yards on 11 carries. Sherman surpassed the previous second place mark of 6,185 yards. Sherman has 6,293 yards rushing in his career, with 1,373 of those yards coming so far this season.

Campbell was 2-3 passing for 63 yards and 2 touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Chris Hawkins of the Pirates was 2-4 passing with 20 yards and an interception.

Platte County receivers included Verdoorn with 1 for 38 yards and a touchdown, Poolman with 1 for 35 yards and a touchdown, junior wide receiver Brian Connell with 1 for 18 yards, and sophomore running back Bobby Passmore who had 1 reception for 2 yards.

The varsity defense held Smithville to negative 12 total yards. The leading tacklers for the Pirates were Bernard with seven, junior Travis Frogge with six, senior Tyler Warner with four, senior Brad Hankins with three, and junior Luke Rainey with three.

Bernard had the only fumble recovery for Platte County and sophomore Craig Parker had the only interception for the Pirates.

The Pirates travel up to Savannah Oct. 19 to begin their District action against the formerly ranked conference rival Savannah. Platte County looks to face one of their biggest challenges so far this season.

“We will have to stop their physical run game,” Sherman said. “Our key challenge will be to stop the run game with our strong defense.”