Belton rides big game from Willis to victory

By Joe Caronia PrepsKC Staff Writer
Posted: October 16, 2015 - 10:42 PM

It was senior night at the North Kansas City, District Stadium, as the Winnetonka Griffons hosted the Belton Pirates. The night belonged to Zach Willis and the Pirates as rolled to 44 - 23 victory. Willis rushed for over 400 yards and also scored 6 touchdowns.

The Pirates scored first after they got great field position from Dylan Smith as he fielded a punt at mid-field and returned it 46 yards down to the Griffon 4 yard line. Two plays later Zach Willis carried the ball 5 yards for the score. Josh Riley converted the kick.

The Griffons answered back as they scored on a trick play. In a tight formation the Griffons lined up with three players standing in close to the center. Senior running back, Mingus Craddock, was crouched low and the snap went to him. The entire Griffon team ran to the right, however Craddock took the ball 10 yards to the left for the score. James McMullen’s kick was good, and at the end of the first quarter the score was tied at 7.

The Pirates went ahead at 11:19 of the second quarter when Willis scored on a 21 yard run. Riley was good with the kick.

The Griffons scored again with a “Wildcat” run of 2 yards by Djimon Colbert. However the kick was no good due to a high snap.

The rest of the half belonged to the Pirates when Zach Willis scored his third touchdown of the half, this time from 10 yards out. Riley converted the kick.

Josh Riley was not finished because with :03 left in the half he calmly knocked in a 23 yard field goal. The teams went to the half with the Pirates up 24 - 13.

The second half belonged to Willis. Twice the Pirates scored touchdowns on one play drives. The first was a 70 yard run, the second touchdown was 61 yards. Once Willis broke through the line, he could not be caught.

The Griffons tried to keep up in the 3rd quarter, but when the drive stalled McMullen hit a 30 yard field goal.

Willis found the end zone for the sixth time on a 2 yard run through the line. Riley’s kick was blocked.

The Griffons played hard to the final whistle. With :06 left in the game Ben Giebler connected with Brad Willis for an 18 yard touchdown pass. McMullen converted the kick for the final score of the game.

After the game, Pirates head coach Todd Vaughn talked about his rushing game, “Zach wants to be the man, he runs really hard. We have some guys up front doing some good things too. It helps that Justus Shaw is back there too. When you have two guys back there that can run the football, it makes you a lot harder to defend.”

The win improved the Pirates record to 6 - 3. The loss drops the Griffons to 1 - 8. This was the last regular season game for both squads as they will prepare for post season.