Harrisonville used good defense and a timely offense to beat Platte County 28-7 in a Missouri Class 4 quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon at Harrisonville.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
The Wildcats, 11-2, advanced to the semifinals for the first time in two years after winning a game filled with turnovers and penalties that turned in their favor in the second half.
We played very good defense, Harrisonville coach Chuck Lliteras said. We took advantage of a couple of opportunities in the second half.
With the clock winding down in the first half, Platte County quarterback James Valentine completed a pass to wide receiver Kyle Christensen to the Wildcats 42, but there was a fumble and Harrisonvilles Tanner Foerschler recovered with 1:31 left in the half.
Harrisonville junior quarterback Zach Davidson connected on four passes to junior running back Mason Saffels, the last one to the 1-foot line, and junior running back Austin Hopper scored with 6 seconds left in the half.
Harrisonville scored 14 points off its defense in the third quarter.
Conyer Hons punt was blocked by Walter Eastwood at the Pirates 40. Eastwood picked up the ball and carried to the 4 before being tackled. Hopper bulled his way into the end zone from there.
The Wildcats came up short after senior Tyler Bundt recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. On fourth and 11 at Pirates 27, Saffels only made 6 yards on an inside reverse.
The Pirates were unable to move the ball. There was a holding penalty and Valentine was sacked for a 7-yard loss by Brance Neal.
After Valentine scrambled for 2 yards, he attempted a pass that picked off by Jameson Knox for a 24-yard interception touchdown return. That made it a 21-0 game after Foerschlers kick with 4:38 left in the third quarter.
We wanted to put pressure on their quarterback and play tough man defense, Lliteras said.
Harrisonville put the game away with a 75-yard touchdown pass from Davidson to receiver Wyatt Schenker with 10:13 left in the game.
The Pirates avoided a shutout on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Valentine to senior Austin Gilbert with 4:14 left. The Pirates ended the season at 10-3.
Harrisonville will play Jefferson City Helias Saturday afternoon in the semifinals.
We will play them here, Lliteras said. We beat them 38-37 in overtime here in the first game of the season.