8th-graders stun Great Bend in football opener

By Steve Sell
September 12, 2014

It was a turnaround of monumental proportions.

When McPherson’s current eighth-grade football team played Great Bend last year as seventh-graders, the Bullpups suffered a 56-0 annihilation that included the injuring of several players.

So prospects of a season-opening victory appeared grim here Thursday.

But the Bullpups scored early and started to believe in themselves. As the game went on, the margin became more and more shocking as MMS finished with a 34-6 landslide victory.

“They beat a good Great Bend team,” MMS coach Brandon Labertew said. “The offensive and defensive line played very well throughout the game. Our defense was physical throughout the game and the only score we allowed was on a kickoff return. This group had gotten beat 56 to 0 last year by the same team.

“I thought the boys competed throughout the game and gained confidence each quarter. We are small in numbers, so hopefully we are able to stay healthy and continue to take our schedule one game at a time.”

The Bullpups displayed tremendous offensive balance. Quarterback Kyler Hoppes threw a pair of scoring strikes to Elijah Muehler. Both players also scored on touchdown runs, and Honestee Whittker had the other score.

Jace Kinnamon thundered to 99 yards on 11 carries and caught a pass for 35 yards. Whittker added 83 yards rushing and Hoppes furnished 50, while throwing for another 113. MMS had 367 yards of total offense.

Brandon Wilson was the top tackler with five, while Chandler Wiard had an interception and Noah Avila recovered a fumble.

MMS hosts Salina South on Tuesday.