WINFIELD — On a clear-as-a-bell night, it was the perfect storm for McPherson High’s football team.
The Bullpups’ offense, defense and special teams came together as one on Friday at Jantz Stadium and the result was cloudburst of points as MHS tuned up for district play with a shockingly lopsided 61-0 rout of Winfield as running clock began at the start of the fourth quarter.
When MHS’ offense took the field for the very first time, it was entrusted with a 20-0 lead that took just 2:30 to accumulate.
Tyson Stites began the game with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, then just over a minute later Wyatt Seidl gobbled up a fumble and raced 45 yards for a score.
Stunningly on the next Winfield play, Britton Bate duplicated Seidl’s feat, though he had to navigate only 31 yards for his scoop-and-score. So 150 seconds in, MHS was up 20-0 and the woes continued the rest of the game for the Vikings.
“We were going into it just trying to get a win,” said MHS coach Jace Pavlovich, who had been fearful of a repeat of two years ago when the Bullpups plopped an egg here. “However, we felt very good. We had a tremendous week of practice and the kids were physical and we were focused. We were healthy, so good things happen when you combine all of those elements. It’s a credit to our kids, they have worked really hard to get to this point.”
Austen Hunt scored from 5 yards just 9 minutes into the game to make it 27-0 and before the half was over, Casen Hoover hooked up twice with Jack Reifschneider for TD strikes of 24 and 22 yards as it was 41-0 at the half.
Pavolvich actually pumped the brakes in the second half, but the train kept on the track. Hoover departed after scoring on a 3-yarder with 7:54 to go on the third quarter and turned the reigns over to Drew Labertew, who hooked up with Thomas Diggs on a 48-yard pass. Diggs rumbled into the end zone despite several Winfield defenders being in position as it was 55-0 heading into the final period.
Andrew Powell came on to run the ball in the final quarter, picking up the final touchdown on a 5-yard run and rushed for 71 yards in his cameo appearance, second to Hunt’s 95 on 15 carries.
The Bullpups pounded out 389 yards and had good balance with 238 on the ground and 151 threw the air. Once again the MHS defense was stifling against the run, as the Vikes were in the minus department (-6) and finished with 87 total yards.
MHS won for the third straight time to improve to 4-2 overall, 3-1 in league play. It hosts undefeated Abilene in the final regular-season home game on Friday.
• STATISTICS •
MHS Listed First
First Downs — 16, 7. Rushes-Yards — 38-238; 36-(-6). Passing — 7-13-0-151; 6-9-0-87. Punt-Avg. — 1-38.0; 6-31.0. Fumbles-Lost — 1-0; 2-2. Penalties-Yards — 2-15; 5-45.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
MHS – Hunt 15-95, Powell 9-71, Goering 5-56, Mendez 6-14, Hoover 2-3.
Winfield — Tate 2-13, Roark 10-13, Gibson 2-6, Gale 5-4, Mull 3-1, Davis 1-(-1), Sawyer 1-(-3), Suttles 12-(-39).
• Passing •
MHS — Hoover 6-12-0-103, Labertew 1-10-48.
Winfield — Suttles 6-9-0-87.
• Receiving •
MHS — Reifschneider 3-63, Diggs 2-75, Reed 2-13.
Winfield — Sawyer 2-35, Hoffman 1-28, Rush 1-13, Tate 1-6, Gale 1-5.