Drop back and find No. 15.
There’s no trickery or complicated strategy with Park Hill South’s play calling in tight spots. The Panthers simply look for senior wideout Craig Scott.
Scott hauled in nine passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns — all on third down — in helping visiting Park Hill South move past Kearney, 34-23, in a Class 5 district semifinal matchup Wednesday night. Scott caught all three scores on jump-ball passes from sophomore quarterback Shaefer Schuetz, who threw for 238 yards.
“My mindset on every pass is that it’s my ball,” Scott said. “When I see it coming my way, that’s my ball. I always fight for it.”
He won the battle nearly every time. Schuetz completed nine of his 13 passes to Scott and only fired two incompletions when looking toward his top wide receiver on the outside.
Park Hill South, 7-3, needed every last catch. The two teams exchanged leads five times until Scott’s third touchdown — a 35-yard score in which he tiptoed near the right corner pylon — gave the Panthers a final advantage two plays into the fourth quarter.
“To be honest, we just throw it up in the air and watch him as he goes and gets it,” Park Hill South coach Mark Simcox said. “He’s been doing it all year. He’s a good player.”
As Scott took care of the work in the air, and fellow senior Myles Hammonds served as the workhorse running back in the ground game. In typical fashion, Hammonds carried 37 times for 194 yards and added a 14-yard score to ice the game with 1:34 to play.
“He’s getting the ball, and everybody knows he’s getting it,” Simcox said. “So he knows he’s got to fight for every yard. That’s not easy.”
Kearney’s tailback, Brock Broughton, matched him yard-for-yard in the opening half, which ended with Kearney holding a 15-14 lead. Both starters were over the century mark before halftime. Broughton finished with 140 rushing yards, but the Bulldogs rarely used him in a scoreless fourth quarter.
Kearney capped the back-and-forth first half with Cole Davis’ seven-yard touchdown pass to Zack Davis for a one-point advantage — its first lead of the night.
The second-half kickoff, however, swung momentum back in Park Hill South’s favor. The kick found a hole in Kearney’s return unit, and the Panthers pounced on the loose football. Two plays later, Schuetz sneaked in a 1-yard run to give the Panthers a 20-15 lead.
Kearney, 6-4, responded once more — Cole Davis hit Dillon Britt on a quick slant, and Britt did the rest for a 45-yard touchdown — but the Bulldogs gained only one more first down in the game, allowing Scott’s 35-yard touchdown to serve as the game-winner.
“Because we’d been here before, I thought we were ready to go score,” Kearney coach Greg Jones said. “We just missed a couple of opportunities here and there, and for whatever reason, that didn’t happen.”