DERBY — McPherson’s eighth-grade football team remained undefeated on Thursday by outscoring powerhouse Derby North on the road, 32-22.
MMS is now 4-0 after winning only three games as seventh-graders.
“This team has now not only matched, but surpassed their win total from last year,” MMS coach TJ Jackson said. “We constantly talk about being a real team, that plays like one and believes they can win together. They have really started to believe in themselves as a team. The way they have began speaking and acting toward one another is more and more reflecting a real group of young men who believe in something all together. We are very proud of how far these young men have come.”
It was a pounding ground game that led the Bullpups to victory.
“The offense is continuing to develop in ways that each week the team can adjust to what we are seeing and we have enough varying types of plays that we can play against whatever we see,” Jackson said. “Rushing (game) led the day with 18 carries for 258 yards. Gus Ruddle had 5 carries for 107 and (Aiden) Hoover 13 for 151. These guys have taken some advanced concepts of read-style plays and we trust them to make good decisions and they just keep making us believers. Passing numbers weren’t very high but they came in very clutch times. Hoover passed for 55 yards on 10 attempts and 5 completions and a very windy, difficult day to pass. We love how much we can spread the ball around as five receivers each caught a pass. Gus Ruddle really did some things today that we have been looking for from him. He comes from an 8-man background, and you can tell he is starting to figure this all out and we can’t wait to see how he does as he continues to grow.”
Derby North was a strong offense that put the MMS defense to the test.
“Defense did well, but we have a lot of things to clean up,” Jackson said. “Giving up three touchdowns is too much. If we eliminate big plays, we would make it easier on ourselves. Brady Harms lead the way on defense with 7 total tackles. Brady really has come on in a strong way over the last few games. Not enough can be said for how much he has improved little parts of his game that has quietly helped his team in a huge way. Jace Minier and Collin Pearson came in right behind Brady with 6 tackles each.”
• Scoring Plays •
Hoover 9-run (Hoover to Dukes for 2)
Ruddle 80-run (Hoover to Harms)
Hoover 9 pass to Ruddle (Pearson run)
Ruddle 27 run (Hoover to Buckbee)