Now it’s time to get down to business.
The McPherson High football team begins the important part of the season Friday night when it hosts Hays in the district opener at McPherson Stadium.
The winner of the three-week district will be a first-round host, while the team that finishes second goes on the road.
Join 96.7 KBBE-FM for all the action with Voice of the Bullpups Matt Cole. Pre-game starts at 6:45, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
MHS and Hays hooked up in a dandy last year in the rain with the Bullpups scoring in the final minute for a 31-24 victory. The Bullpups enter Friday 4-2 on the season with Hays 1-5, but a deceiving 1-5.
The Indians certainly have MHS coach Jace Pavlovich’s full attention.
“Hays is very good. They are multiple on offense,” Pavlovich said. “They will mix it up by running spread one play, then a wing-T look the next. (Shane) Berens is the best tight end we've seen all year. He’s a big, physical and athletic kid.”
Getting Berens the ball is up to quarterback Hunter Brown, who also is a big-time playmaker.
“Hunter Brown is a game-changer,” Pavlovich said. “He plays quarterback and defensive back for them. He is the son of Fort Hays State head coach Chris Brown. The kid knows football and is highly athletic. That is a dangerous combination for opponents.”
When Brown does throw it, Kollyn Kreutzer is his top target on the outside.
“Kreutzer is a very talented receiver and defensive back,” Pavlovich said.
And there’s a couple of good linemen as well.
“Connor Winter, this kid was a pain for us last year when he was a sophomore on the offensive line and defensive line,” Pavlovich said. “Tyrese Hill, I’m not sure where he came from, but he's a very athletic defensive end. He has been causing fits for teams all year in the passing game.”
The Bullpups have been white-hot the last four weeks, compiling a 166-14 advantage against the soft underbelly of the schedule. Rose Hill put up a good fight for a half last week with a 15-8 lead before unloading for a 29-0 second-half bulge.
“It was a great team effort Friday night,” Pavlovich said. “Our offensive line asserted themselves and created holes at will. I was happy with our quarterback play. Casen (Hoover) was as efficient as it gets. He's making great reads and executes well. (Honestee) Whittker took advantage of his opportunity and did a great job.”
Hoover has thrown 16 touchdown passes on the season against just two interceptions. Jeff Reed has 22 catches for 446 yards and Jack Reifschneider has 18 grabs for 278 yards.
In the other district game, Abilene is expected to have its way with Wamego. The Cowboys are sailing along at 6-0 while the Red Raiders have won their last two to even their record at 3-3.