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Northland players have key roles in high school football all-star game victory

Running back JD Woods (left) of the Kansas All-Stars looked to get around Missouri All-Stars defensive back Tyrique Bennett of Winnetonka High School during first-quarter action last week of the Papa John’s Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game at Blue Springs High School.
Running back JD Woods (left) of the Kansas All-Stars looked to get around Missouri All-Stars defensive back Tyrique Bennett of Winnetonka High School during first-quarter action last week of the Papa John’s Kansas vs. Missouri All-Star Game at Blue Springs High School. skeyser@kcstar.com

Many times as a kid, Michael Kilpatrick attended the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Missouri versus Kansas All-Star football game and watched the best players in the city compete in their final high school game of their career.

Last week at Blue Springs High School, Kilpatrick was in the sights of younger kids as the starting quarterback for the Missouri All-Stars.

“It was fun being on the field and showing everybody what I could do,” said Kilpatrick, a graduate of Staley High School.

Kilpatrick played a vital role in Missouri’s 28-24 comeback victory. It was the sixth straight time Missouri has beaten Kansas to increase its series lead to 13-11.

Kansas appeared to have the momentum with 2 minutes left before halftime. Kansas scored a touchdown to increase its lead to 15-7. The way both teams were playing defense, it didn’t look like Missouri had enough time to move 80 yards in 2 minutes.

Well, Missouri didn’t need 2 minutes. Kilpatrick and Park Hill wide receiver Kentrez Bell gave a glimpse of why both their high school teams had successful seasons their senior year.

Kilpatrick hit Bell for about a 15-yard pass over the middle. The Kansas team thought it had Bell down, but Bell refused to let his knee touch the turf. He broke free and bolted down the field for an 80-yard touchdown play. Missouri went into halftime trailing 15-14.

The play gave Bell one final high school memory.

“I was blessed to be a part of this game,” Bell said.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Missouri scored the only touchdown of the quarter to go ahead for good at 28-24, concluding a game that featured three lead changes in the second half.

“It was a lot of fun meeting guys from different schools,” Kilpatrick said. “It was fun coming together as a whole and playing well. It was fun getting back out there after six months.”

Kilpatrick and Bell said they enjoyed their time at their high schools.

“I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other school,” Kilpatrick said.

Both players will play football in the MIAA this fall. Kilpatrick is going to Washburn. Bell, meanwhile, will play at Nebraska-Kearney.

“I’m looking forward to the future,” Kilpatrick said. “I am ready to get at it and play.”

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