The enigma that is the Winfield Vikings’ football season became even more mysterious last week.
The Vikings stepped out of AVCTL Division III play to suffer an abominable 56-0 loss to Class 3A power Silver Lake to fall to 2-3 on the year. The game featured running clock in the second half.
However, the Vikings played without some of their key performers, the most notable being All-State quarterback candidate Will Adler. Various reports indicated it was a disciplinary matter.
So it’s a Winfield team shrouded in intrigue that invades McPherson Stadium Friday night for the final pre-district game.
It’s homecoming for the Bullpups, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
Bullpup coach Tom Young is just as perplexed about the Vikings as anybody. Before the season, they were lumped in with MHS as a fringe Top 5 team in Class 4A Division I.
But even in their two wins, the Vikings haven’t impressed. They barely got past Rose Hill 16-13 and in even more of a stunner, were just 10 points better than an El Dorado team the Bullpups put up 46 first-half points on last week.
None of the past matters to Young. He’s expecting a fully stocked Winfield team similar to the one that handed MHS one of only three league losses the Bullpups have suffered in Young’s nine-year tenure at McPherson.
“When they’ve got all their players, they’re a really good team,” said Young, whose Bullpups have won three in a row after an 0-2 start and need a quality performance to build momentum going into district play next week. “I know last week against Silver Lake they didn’t have three of their top players. I’ve got to assume they’re going to be there for us. We’re going to play them when they’re going to be at their best. It’s been that way the last couple of years. Some games they come out and play terrific and others they don’t.”
Assuming Adler plays as Young expects, the Bullpups will have to get pressure from their defensive front. He’s had some nice numbers at times this year and is complemented by tough running back Isaiah Amezcua, who is capable of breaking off some big gainers.
“They are very multiple,” Young said. “We’re going to see a lot of formations and probably some new ones. Every week they seem to add some.”
The Bullpups are coming off a 46-7 rout of El Dorado, scoring all their points in the first half. Young elected to rest the majority of his starters in the second half to keep them healthy for this game. The Bullpups pounded the ball on the ground and were stifling defensively, the only score coming against third wave of defense by El Dorado’s starting running back.
“The thing I was most pleased with last week was that we cut down on our mental mistakes,” Young said. “We didn’t have many mental breakdowns or errors like we had been. Our execution was so much better and we need to continue that this week.”
The Bullpups are expected to again be without starting running back Nathan Nutter due to a concussion. Ty Hart filled in admirably with 88 yards and three touchdowns, while Kyler Kinnamon ripped off 169 on just eight totes as he unfurled a pair of his patented darting-and-dashing runs.
• AVCTL STANDINGS •
• All Games In Parentheses •
Buhler, 3-0 (4-1)
McPherson, 3-0 (3-2)
Winfield, 2-1 (2-3)
Augusta, 1-2 (2-3)
Rose Hill, 1-3 (1-4)
El Dorado, 0-4 (1-4)