Bullpups overwhelm winless Circle

By Steve Sell
September 29, 2017
Kendall Shaw

TOWANDA — Lack of focus?

No chance for the McPherson Bullpups.

The Bullpups put the pedal to the metal from the opening kickoff to the final tick of the first half on Friday against winless Circle, piling up 62 points to lead 62-0 and the second half was played with a running clock, with the T-Bird starters outscoring the MHS reserves 7-0 for a 62-7 final.

“It (lack of focus) was an area of concern (going into the game),” said MHS coach Jace Pavlovich, whose team is now 4-1, 3-1 on the road as it has spent most of the season traveling. “Our guys look forward to playing football every Friday night, but you never know where a high school kid’s head is. In the environment we were playing in tonight, it wasn’t conducive to good, crisp, clean play. But hats off to them, our guys took off and got it done.”

MHS scored on its first possession of the game on an 11-yard run by Jace Kinnamon, but Circle answered with a drive that covered 54 yards and churned out four first downs. But as the T-Birds traversed as close as the MHS 11-yard line, linebacker deluxe Jayse Alexander picked off a pass and rambled 78 yards, setting up Kinnamon’s second touchdown, this time from 8 yards.

And then the floodgates opened.

The Bullpups wound up with nine first-half touchdowns, four by Kinnamon, who in just a half of play finished with 132 yards on 12 carries. Austen Hunt, who had 77 yards on 10 totes, scored twice. Also getting into the act was Kyler Hoppes, who threw TD passes to Ben Nikkel and Chandler Wiard, while Tyson Stites had a 44-yard punt return for a score. Drew Labertew hit 8 of 9 PATs.

Hoppes was 8 of 13 in the first half for 206 yards. Wiard went over the century mark with 101 yards on three catches.

“We’re clicking on all cylinders and our offensive line is doing a great job up front,” Pavlovich said. “Our tailbacks are doing a great job on the back end. Now we’re starting to click as an offense with the full package. We’re protecting and we’ve got so many weapons you can’t single anybody out.”

The game also produced some eye-opening moments from Florida transfer Khalil Lisbon, who is still in the process of figuring out Kansas football. He was a special teams maven early in the game, including the hit of the year on a kickoff return. The MHS coaching staff took a look at him as a running back despite being 6-4 and 245 pounds and he picked up 35 yards on four carries, including a 25-yard run where he left bodies scattered.

“As a staff we’re thinking, “how can we get this kid on the field and help us out? Pavlovich said. “As it turns out, he can take a handoff pretty well and find a seam. We had to take him out toward the end of the game as a safety factor and get some of our other guys in the game.”

MHS piled up 415 yards in the first half, but with the running clock and reserves in the game added only 51 yards in the second half. Circle, which had 52 yards at the half, closed with 133.

The Bullpups finally return home on Friday when they host Rose Hill, which edged El Dorado 21-14 on Friday.