AUGUSTA — McPherson High football coach Jace Pavlovich said earlier this week there was no way his team could repeat last year’s 41-0 victory over Augusta, which entered Friday’s game undefeated and ranked No. 8 in the state.
He was right. He missed by a point.
Another remarkable performance by the MHS defense, augmented by a rapidly improving offense, crushed the Orioles 40-0 in an effort that was even more dominating than last year’s.
“These guys played their tail ends off,” said Pavlovich, whose defense gave up just 20 yards of total offense on 47 snaps and had 17 plays where the Orioles had minus yardage. “I told the kids this was a total win, across the board. In our past wins, I felt like one position group needed to be better for us on the evening, including last week’s win, but this was the whole package tonight.”
MHS led 28-0 at the half as Augusta had minus-11 yards on 24 plays while the Bullpups piled up 268. Kyler Hoppes ran for a score and threw touchdown passes of 45 and 64 yards to speedburner Talyn Huff. Jace Kinnamon rumbled for the other touchdown.
MHS’ second-half scores were a 23-yard Hoppes pass to Chandler Wiard and then Hoppes ran for a second score to complete the offensive explosion, which included 205 yards on the ground and 225 through the air for 430 total yards.
“I’m really proud of our offensive line,” Pavlovich said. “We were able to move some big bodies up front. Even when they had a stacked box — they were bringing six, seven guys in the box — we wanted to make statement that we could run the football and we did that tonight.”
Kinnamon, who had countless yards after the initial hit as it took two and three tacklers to bring him down, had 108 yards on 19 carries and had another 50 yards called back because of penalty. Austen Hunt added 66 yards on 10 carries.
Hoppes was 9 of 17 for 225 yards and the three scores, with Huff catching four for 178. His shortest catch of the night was 30 yards and his second TD came right before the half that was a backbreaker.
“He’s electric,” Pavlovich said. “We’re glad he decided to play. He was teetering last spring whether or not he wanted to play football. He’s having the time of his life.”
Augusta’s dangerous quarterback Chance Whitehead was reduced to a shell of his usual self, finishing with 21 carries for minus 27 yards as time and again he was thrown for big losses. Of his carries, 11 were for minus yards.
“He is a great player when he gets in space and we just didn’t let him have any space,” Pavlovich said.
The Orioles had a couple of good gains late in the game against the second-team defense to finish with exactly minus-1 yard of rushing and had 21 yards through the air.
The Bullpups, now 3-1, will play their fourth road game in five weeks next week when they travel to Circle, which was drilled by this same Augusta team. Buhler defeated Maize South 17-14 on Friday and both teams, along with MHS, are 3-1.