It was bitterly cold, and since he partially tore his ACL in the spring, Park Hill South running back Ronnie Bertelsmeyer had to keep moving.
Luckily for the Panthers, he kept moving toward the end zone.
Bertelsmyer led Park Hill South with two touchdowns as they routed Liberty North 28-0 on Friday night. With the victory, Park Hill South improved to 4-4 overall and 3-2 in the Suburban Middle Six with one game remaining. Liberty North dropped to 4-4 and 2-3 in league play.
“It means a lot to me,” Bertelsmeyer said. “I’ve got to start playing harder. I had a bad game last week and I came back.”
The Panthers worked it down to the 11 at the start of the game, but squandered the opportunity with a missed field goal. They also got to the 25 again on fourth and 3 but again couldn’t convert and turned it over on downs.
They made it look easy on the next possession, when they started at their own 40 with 20 seconds on the clock. From there, Bertelsmeyer rushed for all 60 yards including a 28-yard touchdown.
Senior linebacker Austin Miller intercepted Eagles quarterback Brian Sharp and ran it back for a 71-yard touchdown and extended the Panthers’ lead to 14-0 before halftime. Miller also had a fumble recovery later in the game.
“We wanted to try to take the run game as much as we could away from them,” Park Hill South head coach Mark Simcox said. “We tried to make them pass it and we got a little bit lucky. They had a few drops that helped us out, but I’m proud of the way my guys played.”
Out of the break, Bertelsmeyer ran 91 yards and set up the Panthers at the 1-yard-line. Senior quarterback Carson Reid ran it in, but Bertelsmeyer got another chance to score when Liberty North fumbled on Park Hill South’s 4. The Panthers marched down the field before Bertelsmeyer ran it in from the 1.
“That’s the best we’ve been in the run game all year long,” Simcox said. “We’ve been looking for that, but we’ve just been inconsistent. We’d run, fumble, run, make a few mistakes, but tonight we were able to string a few things together.
“We blocked really well up front. My guys did a great job up front and then Ronnie did a fantastic job taking care of the ball.”