It was a domination the likes never seen.
McPherson High put on one of the most overpowering defensive performances in team history on its Senior Night Friday as it opened district play with a 48-14 destruction of depleted Hays, with the 34-point final margin actually deceiving as Hays scored twice against the bottom of the defensive depth chart.
During a 34-0 first half, the Bullpups accumulated 263 yards and scored on five of six possessions, while Hays was held to minus-1 yard and no first downs.
In fact, the Indians did not have a first down until the MHS starting defense went out of the game as Bullpup coach Jace Pavolvich, with an eye toward next week’s game at Wamego, wanted to rest his starters.
"Our kids did a great job," Pavlovich said. "This (Hays) is a good team. They were missing five starters, but our guys focused on what they needed to do and were good at it."
Casen Hoover threw TD passes to Jeff Reed and Thomas Diggs during the steamroller of a first half, while Tyson Stites and Andrew Powell ran for scores, as did Hoover. MHS tacked on a pair of second-half scores as Powell tallied for the second time and Kyler Hoppes ran in for the final MHS points.
Hays did manage to get to 132 yards of total offense, but ran only 32 plays compared to the 71 the Bullpups snapped, which led to 374 total yards. Drew Labertew had a pick for MHS and Britton Bate recovered a fumble, both leading to touchdowns.
Stites, seeing his first heavy duty in three weeks, rushed for 100 yards on 19 carries, all in the first half. Hoover was 9 of 12 for 115 yards and Reed caught three balls for a team-high 66 yards.
"They just executed very well and were physical," Pavlovich said. "They love to play football."
The Bullpups, 5-2 after an 0-2 start, now play at Wamego Friday. The Red Raiders hung tough early with undefeated Abilene before the roof caved in as the Cowboys rolled to a 50-14 victory to move to 7-0.
• STATS •
• MHS Listed First •
First Downs — 19, 6. Rushes-Yards — 57-253; 26-121. Passing — 10-14-0-115, 3-6-1-11. Punts-Avg. — 1-46.0; 5-34.0. Fumbles — 0-0, 1-1. Penalties — 3-25; 4-18.
• LEADERS •
• Rushing •
MHS — Stites 19-100, Powell 10-49, C. Hoover 9-43, Kinnamon 9-31, Feil 4-19, Reifschneider 1-11, Ky. Hoppes 1-9, Thrash 3-(-3), Kb. Hoppes 1-0.
Hays — Sennett 4-69, Meyers 5-56, Blackmon 3-8, Dandurand 1-4, Schmidtberger 1-0, Ibarra 1-(-1), Brown 10-(-16).
• Passing •
MHS — C. Hoover 9-12-0-115, Ky. Hoppes 1-2-0-6.
Hays — Brown 3-6-1-11.
• Receiving •
MHS — Reed 3-66, Diggs 3-26, Arbuckle 1-13, Reifschneider 1-9, Wills 1-6, G. Hoover 1-1.
Hays — Scheve 1-11, Schmidtberger 1-5, Meyers 1-(-5).