The final score doesn’t show it, but second-ranked Blue Springs was pushed to the limit.
The Wildcats fell behind 18 points, turned the ball over three times, had a punt blocked for a touchdown and lost their running back to injury.
Even so, Blue Springs rallied to beat Park Hill 42-25 during a Class 6 battle Friday night in Blue Springs.
“We’re just so proud of our guys,” Blue Springs coach Kelly Donohoe said. “They were just so resilient at 18-0 not to get that look in their eye, but to keep fighting. I think that’s the type of win that can really springboard a team like this.”
With Blue Springs’ first two running backs already out, sophomore Aveion Bell rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns until an ankle injury knocked him out of the game in the third quarter.
Trailing 25-14 when Bell left the game, the Wildcats turned to the passing game and fourth-string running back Nick Wood to rally.
Blue Springs quarterback Chase Donohoe connected with Caleb Marquez on a 9-yard touchdown pass with 6:35 left in the third quarter. Donohue’s conversion pass to Tanner Taula cut Park Hill’s lead to 25-22.
From there, the momentum continued to go Blue Springs’ way.
A snap that went over Park Hill punter Parker Sampson’s head led to a safety that cut the Trojans’ lead to 25-24 with 5:24 left in the third quarter.
Blue Springs, 3-1, took its first lead of the game when Donohoe hit Joey Janes on a fourth-and-2 screen pass that resulted in a 39-yard touchdown. The ensuing conversion pass from Donohoe to Marquez gave the Wildcats a 32-25 lead with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats added a 33-yard field goal by Tristin Williams and a 2-yard touchdown run by Wood in the fourth quarter.
“We know that we can come back from anything,” Chase Donohoe said. “We were just keeping our head up. We got the momentum and kept it rolling.”
Park Hill, 2-2, jumped out to an 18-0 lead as quarterback Billy Maples threw two touchdown passes to D.J. Johnson and another to Joe Webb. Two of the scores came after fumbles by Blue Springs.
A pair of touchdown runs by Bell trimmed Park Hill’s lead to 18-14 by halftime.
The Trojans took a 25-14 lead with 9:50 left in the third quarter when Darrion Davis blocked a punt and T.J. Hullaby recovered it in the end zone.