Park Hill’s Billy Maples accomplished in one half what some high school quarterbacks would consider a good season.
It took Maples just two quarters to throw eight of his nine touchdown passes — four to Ronnie Bell and three to D.J. Johnson — in a spectacular aerial display that carried the Trojans to a 66-35 victory over Lee’s Summit Friday night at Park Hill.
Maples, a 6-foot-3 senior, finished the offensefest 26 for 36 passing for 434 yards. Bell made eight catches for 205 yards and four TDs and Johnson had 11 catches for 151 yards and another four scores.
The nine TD catches set a new Park Hill record. It’s a number Maples certainly had never reached before, but he had a feeling the 2-0 Trojans would do some damage through the air against 0-2 Lee’s Summit.
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“During our film we study we saw them do a lot of press coverage,” Maples said. “We thought they’d back off a little bit and they didn’t, so we took advantage of it.”
Maples got rolling early. He needed only three plays to find the end zone for the Trojans’ first score, a 12-yard toss Johnson. He added a 1-yard throw across the end zone Johnson for a second score and seconds later tossed a 26-yarder to Bell after Lee’s Summit fumbled the ensuing kickoff.
And just like that, Park Hill had a 21-0 lead with half the first quarter to play.
“That was a testament to the hard work Billy and Ronnie and DJ put in,” Park Hill coach Josh Hood said. “Their timing was outstanding; their execution was great. They put in a hard week of preparation and it really showed tonight.”
Lee’s Summit answered with a 26-yard TD pass from quarterback Darrias Pearsall to Somaj Brewer after a nice drive for the first of his four TD passes, but Maples went to the air again.
Johnson slipped a defender downfield for a 60-yard score on Park Hill’s next possession. Then came a nifty 24-yard lob to Bell, a 26-yard strike to Bell after a bad snap on a Lee’s Summit punt and a four-yarder to Bell just before halftime.
Pearsall hit Brewer for an 80-yard bomb and 10-yarder just before halftime, but Lee’s Summit was deep in a 56-21 hole.
Lee’s Summit climbed out of it somewhat, closing within 56-35 with a 16-yard TD pass from Pearsall to Mitchell Tinsley and a 1-yard TD run by Preston Whitworth set by an 84-yard shovel pass from Pearsall to tight end Spencer Parker. That was before Maples struck for his ninth TD on an 8-yard throw Joe Webb early in the fourth quarter.