Now that was more like it.
McPherson High resembled the Bullpup teams of old here Friday night in a total dismantling of overmatched El Dorado, 46-7.
The near-capacity crowd enjoyed the Bullpups’ most complete effort of the year, as they did whatever they wanted on offense while suffocating the Wildcats with their flying-to-the-ball defense, with the only El Dorado score a cosmetic touchdown in the game’s final minute.
It was a stress-free night for Bullpup coach Tom Young, who saw his team rocket its way to a 26-0 first-quarter lead and then kept the foot on the gas in the second period to tear the game open, 46-0.
“That was by far our best game all the way around,” said Young, whose team pushed past the .500 mark for the first time this year at 3-2 heading into next week’s homecoming game against Winfield. “(The) Defense played pretty good a week ago, but they had another really good game tonight and we just didn’t beat ourselves so much. That’s been our problem the last couple of games especially. But we came out and executed well.”
There was some concern going into the game offensively about the absence of leading rusher Nathan Nutter, but Ty Hart stepped in with 88 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns, including the first two of the game. He displayed some of the power and long-striding that teases the coaching staff as he’s always had the potential to be a quality back. Collin Baldwin shared the carries with 13, good for 74 yards.
Then, of course, there was the staple, Kyler Kinnamon. He showed his 2013 form by rushing for 169 yards on just eight carries and had a pair of his patented weaving runs for touchdowns covering 46 and 47 yards. He also threw a TD pass to Payton Stephens.
“We had a great game of rushing,” Young said. “I thought all three of those guys really ran the ball hard. They got a lot of yards after contact. Of course we had good holes (from the offensive line) right at the point of attack. That just has not been there very consistently.”
The other touchdown came from Luke Williams, who returned an interception 52 yards during the 46-point first half.
The MHS defense, which also included interceptions by Baldwin and Jack Reifschneider, gave up only 153 yards, about half that in the fourth quarter. The junior varsity basically played the majority of the second half as the injury-plagued Bullpups were able to keep their front-line players healthy.
“We kind of made them do what they didn’t want to,” Young said, as the Wildcats had to break from their flexbone and put the ball in the air. “That’s not their strong suit. We were able to take advantage.”
The Bullpups will be looking to avenge a loss to Winfield next week. The Vikings won a lighting-delayed game last year that ended about midnight.
• STATISTICS •
• MHS Listed First •
First Downs — 19, 9. Rushes-Yards — 49-372; 36-135. Passing — 4-6-0-56; 4-15-3-18. Punts-Avg. — 2-32.0; 6-39.8. Fumbles-Lost — 2-1; 0-0. Penalties-Yards — 4-35; 3-20.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
• Rushing •
MHS — Kinnamon 8-169, Hart 12-88, Baldwin 13-74, Jirgens 1-26, Koehn 3-8, Starkel 3-7.
El Dorado — Howland 8-80, Melugin 6-63, Reno 8-8, Morrow 5-(-2), Motter 4-(-5), Triboletti 5-(-9).
• Passing •
MHS — Kinnamon 4-6-0-56.
El Dorado — Morrow 3-11-2-8, Triboletti 1-4-1-10.
• Receiving •
MHS — Stephens 2-23, Starkel 1-19, Stoppel 1-14.
El Dorado — McCarthy 1-10, Hildreth 1-9, Melugin 1-1, Ladson 1-(-2).