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Platte County aims for third-straight state title game

Platte County
Posted at 6:28 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 17:05:53-04

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — What sounds like an insult is anything but at Platte County.

"I'd rather it be boring," said head football coach Bill Utz.

Boring. That's how Utz describes his football program, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's a good term," Utz said, entering his 14th season as the Pirates head coach. "It's okay. Boring is okay sometimes, especially this time of year."

Of course, when Utz says "boring," he's more referring to synonyms like "routine" or "repetitive" or "expected."

After all, there's nothing boring about 44 wins over the last four years. But Platte County has become accustomed to winning.

"Those expectations are already there, so there's no surprises for them," Utz said.

One trend the Pirates would like to see come to an end is their championship game results.

Platte County played for the Class 4 state title in 2019 only to fall to Webb City 48-0.

Then, even after moving up to Class 5 in 2020, the Pirates again found themselves in the state championship game. But, once again, they lost — by a lot — to Jackson, 42-7.

"I think we all just want to get back there and bring it home this time," said senior safety Cade Fowler.

"It kind of hurts, obviously losing those games," said senior defensive end Jaydon Walls. "But it definitely fires you up for next season."

Next season is upon them. One of the key pieces to those title game runs is gone, though. Quarterback Chris Ruhnke was a First Team All-State selection and a Simone Award finalist. He's graduated and now playing college football at Northwest Missouri State.

This year's Pirates will have to rely more on their defense.

"It seems like offense gets all the attention," Utz said. "But our defenses have been right there as equals."

Platte County opens up at Park Hill South on Friday, August 27th.