Platte County gets a big bounce back
By Cole Young PrepsKC staff writer
It’s hard enough to beat a team when you lose the turnover battle. As Winnetonka found out against Platte County, it’s basically impossible to get a win when you turn the ball over seven times.
That was exactly the case in this Suburban Small Six matchup as the Pirates ended Winnetonka’s six-game winning streak with a 28-7 win.
Platte County had seven takeaways in the contest, six interceptions and one fumble recovery. It was a confidence booster for the Pirate defense that saw its own winning streak come to an end last week when it had a fourth quarter lapse against Liberty North.
“A few of the turnovers were a matter of being in the right place at the right time,” Platte County coach Bill Utz said. “Part of it though is our defensive coordinator Coach (Eric) Mitchell had a scheme so our guys were in the right places.”
Perhaps the biggest turnover for the Pirates was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. As Winnetonka quarterback Julious Sabastiano tried to avoid being sacked he made a desperation throw which was intercepted by Pirate linebacker Jacob Cogdill at the Griffin 13. He returned it to the 1 before Brandon Spoor punched it in to make the score 18-0 with less than a minute left in the first half.
Darius Taylor and Andrew Gallamore each had a pair of interceptions for the Pirates. Taylor echoed Utz’ sentiments that much of the defensive success could be based on scheme.
“We come up with a different scheme for every opponent,” Taylor said. “Our biggest goal was to stop (Marquise Doherty) in the first half. At halftime we made a couple adjustments on the routes we were trying to stop but just kept trying to do the same thing.”
Meanwhile for the young Griffin squad it was an unfamiliar position after starting the season 6-1.
“We really had to face adversity like that all year,” Winnetonka coach Sterling Edwards said. “We’ll need to go back this week and work on bouncing back.”
Throughout their strong start the team had just seven turnovers in the first seven weeks. They matched that number against Platte County.
The loss opens up the Suburban Small Six race. Platte County, Winnetonka and Raytown South are all 3-1 in the conference with Platte County hosting Raytown South next week.
The Cardinals will face a Pirate squad that seems to be clicking on both sides of the ball. The Pirate offense was able to assert itself early in the game. After stopping Winnetonka on the opening drive, Platte County marched 67 yards on 13 plays, capped by a nine-yard touchdown run by Robbie Geran. Through the first quarter, Geran had 42 yards on seven carries, but left the game late in the first quarter due to an injury and did not return.
That put more pressure on Spoor who carried the load, running 20 times for 45 yards. Platte County also turned to the aerial attack after Geran went down. James Valentine completed 13 of 23 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns, both to JT Taylor.
Winnetonka finishes the regular season at home against Kearney.
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