DERBY — McPherson Middle School’s seventh-grade football team put up a valiant effort against Derby on Thursday before succumbing, 19-14.
“To be honest, before the game if you looked across the field most people thought we had no chance,” MMS coach TJ Jackson said. “The size difference was unquestionable. Derby had twice the number of players we did. Derby had coaches in the box and twice the number of coaches we had.”
MMS’ first score came on a 30-yard pass from Aidan Hoover to Javon Mattox, and Hoover then added the 2-pointer.
The Bullpups then took the lead 14-13 before the end of the first half on a 34-yard strike from Hoover to Trey Buckbee.
Derby accounted for the only scoring of the second half to hold off the Bullpups.
It was a great game for Hoover, who tied for the team lead in tackles (5), passed for 111 yards and rushed for 42. Collin Pearson was in the Derby backfield all day with 5 tackles, all of them for loss. Buckee totaled 62 yards in receptions.
“I told the kids I couldn't be more proud,” Jackson said. "They fought their hearts out and not once did I see anyone let down. As coaches we saw kids push past their own limits, push through pain and being tired and showed what McPherson is all about.”
The Bullpups host Derby North on Thursday.