The McPherson High School junior varsity football team was hard-pressed to keep the grins off their faces Monday night.
Not three days after the varsity Bullpups suffered a 35-7 loss to Buhler High School, the MHS JV got some measure of revenge for their comrades, beating the Crusaders 22-6 at McPherson Stadium.
“It was good,” MHS JV coach Chet Harlin said of the win. “It was good to have something to smile about this week.”
Neither team gained a foothold through the first 13 minutes of play, though McPherson managed to strike first, as junior quarterback Cody Starkel punched in a three-yard keeper with 7:25 left in the second quarter.
Buhler fired back, though, as the Pup defense allowed a 45-yard run to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Connor Ridder to Ryan Snow with 1:29 left in half. A two-point conversion failed, leaving the Crusaders down two.
Starkel led the Pups down the field in the closing seconds of the first half, culminating in an 11-yard touchdown pass to Micah McCulley as time expired.
Neither team managed a score in the third quarter and most of the fourth, until Bullpup cornerback Kolby Reed picked off Ridder with 4:40 left to play. Noah Jirgens then busted loose for an 18-yard run, which was followed on the next play by a nine-yard run Jirgens took to the endzone to make it 20-6.
The two point conversion made it 22-6.
“Defensively, we played really well,” Harlin said. “Offensively, we struggled a little bit. They put in some new stuff this week and trying to get that shored up caused them to struggle a little bit.”
The MHS freshmen fell in the early game 28-14.
The Pups have one more home game this season, as they host Winfield on Monday at 6 pm. at McPherson Stadium.