8th-graders edged in OT in finale

By Steve Sell
October 13, 2017

VALLEY CENTER — McPherson’s depleted eighth-grade football team ended its season on a downer Thursday with a 26-20 loss to Valley Center, but that couldn’t take away what the team accomplished during a 5-2 season as it squeezed out about everything it could.

“It is hard to know where to start with this team outside of simply being proud of how far they have come,” MMS coach TJ Jackson said. “Yesterday we played a game with 17 kids on the sideline and by the end of it, 15, due to injuries. We had to literally change our entire defense and offense because we were that short. Even still these guys went out there put up a fight and lost in overtime.”

Aiden Hoover rushed for two scores and Collin Pearson had a short TD run for the other scoring. They combined for 205 yards on the ground.

“This team has not played a single game full strength all year,” Jackson said. “Some bad luck due to injured players, some because of not being responsible and handling grades. My biggest takeaway from this season and looking onto their high school careers is this a group of fighters. They've grown from kids who most barely seemed to care when they lost a year ago, to now it is very obvious it has that sting it should when they lose. We are very proud of these boys. I am happy to say I have had some of the funnest times coaching with these boys and it was a blessing for us to get the chance to work with them.”

Brady Harms and Jace Minier led in tackles with 7 apiece, one more than Paerson. Daniel Valadez was praised for his play.