McPherson High School coach Tom Young could only just stare at the stat printout following Friday night’s road loss to Buhler.
The Bullpups came into the AVCTL Div. III showdown averaging 282.3 rushing yards per game. Friday night, the Crusader defense held MHS to 56 and forced four turnovers on their way to a 35-7 win.
“We just weren’t very consistent at all on offense,” Young said. “At times, we did things well. The turnovers just killed us and they took advantage, that’s for sure.”
McPherson, playing without running back Ty Hart and guard Devon Ronsse, coughed the ball up twice, losing both fumbles, while quarterback Kyler Kinnamon threw two interceptions to Buhler’s Jace Williams. Buhler took advantage for points on three of the turnovers.
Additionally, the Crusader defense was prepared for the Bullpup rushing attack, as they crushed the line play after play, barely allowing McPherson to get more than a handful of yards with each carry.
Initially, neither team could find an advantage, with the Pups holding Buhler to three-and-outs on their first two series. McPherson then started to get their offense moving, as Kinnamon connected with Jason Anderson on a 15 yard pass on fourth-and-long after a penalty to get the first down.
Kinnamon then fired a pass to Daniel Dick, who could have had a possible touchdown, but instead fumbled the ball on the Buhler 18-yard-line.
Nothing seemed to go right for McPherson after that, as Williams picked off Kinnamon to set up Riley Allen’s first score of three on the night. Allen finished the game with 150 yards rushing on 29 carries.
The Bullpups did have a nice defensive stand on the Buhler one-yard-line at the end of the first half, as they held the Crusaders (4-0, 3-0 AVCTL Div. III) to a field goal and trailed 15-0 at the intermission.
McPherson (2-2, 2-1 AVCTL Div. III) managed to get the passing game going a somewhat towards the end of the half and into the fourth quarter, as Kinnamon completed 11-of-23 passes for 201 yards. His best pass of the night was a 68-yard bomb to Collin Harvey with 8:21 left in the fourth quarter that would be MHS’ only score on the night.
“They’re pretty good,” Young said of Buhler. “They’re a pretty good football team. I’m hopeful that we can keep improving throughout the year and, hopefully, we’ll get a chance to play them again.”
McPherson finished with 257 total yards of offense, while Buhler clocked in with 374. Williams was 7-of-10 for 125 yards in the air and had 15 yards rushing on top of the interceptions.
Jose Gloria was the Pups’ leading rusher with 30 yards on 12 carries, though he did come out of the game in the fourth quarter with what Young said is a possible concussion.
Page 2 of 2 - Gloria’s status wasn’t confirmed as of Friday night, but, if it is a concussion, he will be out at least a week, further depleting the Bullpup running back corps already missing Hart, who is out with a sprained ankle.
McPherson has one more road game before they play three of their final four at McPherson Stadium. The Pups travel down to Winfield to face a Viking team that lost to Rose Hill Friday 27-24 in double overtime.
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