Harrisonville made the most of Pittsburg’s turnovers Friday night.
The Wildcats forced six turnovers and rolled past the Purple Dragons 28-7. Harrisonville, 3-0, converted three of the turnovers into touchdowns.
“We’ve kind of lived off that so far,” Harrisonville coach Brent Maxwell said. “Our defensive coordinator does a great job of putting our kids in places where they can be successful. All of our coaches do a great job, and our kids just execute.”
Pittsburg, 0-1, executed a 68-yard touchdown drive on its opening possession to take a 7-0 lead. But the Wildcats, who entered the week ranked No. 3 in Missouri Class 4, answered on their next drive.
Harrisonville capped a 68-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by senior running back Morgan Selemaea. A conversion pass from Joe Bowers to Isaiah Patrick gave the Wildcats an 8-7 lead with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
Pittsburg junior quarterback Chase Curtis directed the Dragons back into Harrisonville territory on the ensuing possession. However, Curtis was injured on a 5-yard run in the second quarter.
With Curtis out for the rest of the game for what Pittsburg coach Tom Nickelson called “precautionary reasons,” the Dragons committed six turnovers.
“We smelled blood a little bit,” Maxwell said.
The Dragons attempted to throw on sophomore quarterback Ty Roark’s first play of the game. Harrisonville defensive back Nick Laughlin intercepted Roark’s pass on the fourth-and-2 play from the Wildcats’ 40.
Pittsburg turned the ball over two more times in the first half, leading to two Harrisonville touchdowns. Nick McCleave recovered Elijah Harris’ fumbled punt. A few plays later, Patrick scored on a 4-yard touchdown run that made it 14-7.
A bad exchange at center led to another Pittsburg fumble with 1:11 left in the first half. Patrick scored on a 7-yard touchdown run, giving Harrisonville a 21-7 lead with 50.8 seconds left in the first half.
Quarterback Brandon Eickhorst’s 7-yard touchdown run gave the Wildcats a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.
Roark finished with four interceptions.