It really felt like two separate games, by the time was all said and done Friday night.
McPherson and Winfield battled back and forth in the first half of Friday’s AVCTL Division III showdown, ending up tied 14-14 at the intermission.
Three hours later, the two teams were able to start the second half.
The severe weather that so disrupted most every game in central and easter Kansas Friday night caused the lengthy delay, mainly due to persistent lightning. When the two teams came back out onto the field at a little after 11 p.m., Winfield came out with a little more fire than the Bullpups, who dropped their second straight game 28-17.
Winfield looked like it was going to just walk right over the Pups from the opening play of the game, as Jordan Johnson raced for a 69-yard touchdown out of the gates to put the Vikings up 6-0. The Bullpup defense then put the clamps down on Winfield’s running game, holding them to only 62 total yards for the half, even including the Johnson run.
Offensively, the Pups didn’t look very sharp on their first two possessions, as they turned it over both times; once on a fumble and the second on a Kyler Kinnamon interception.
Kinnamon had a shot at redemption, though, as he got the offense rolling by orchestrating an eight play, 63 yard drive that culminated in the junior quarterback rushing 21 yards for a touchdown.
Linebacker Colin Baldwin picked off Viking quarterback Sam Camp, setting up Kinnamon to take it to the house again barely three minutes later, this time from 11 yards out to give MHS a 14-6 advantage with under five minutes left in the half.
McPherson was looking to hold Winfield and close out the half with the severe weather threatening, but Camp took the Vikings 74 yards with under 90 seconds remaining, finishing by finding Logan Mays in the endzone for a seven-yard touchdown with 18 seconds left before the break. The point-after left the game tied as the lightning forced the three-hour delay.
When play finally resumed, McPherson looked flat, while the Vikings seemed determined not to leave Friday night without a win.
Camp, once more, put together a tremendous drive, going 84 yards in just eight plays. Mays was the, again, the difference maker, breaking loose for a 45-yard score that put Winfield up 21-14 with 4:23 left in the third.
Neither team was able score the rest of the third quarter, though McPherson had a prime opportunity in the fourth quarter to tie it back up, as Collin Harvey picked off Blake Crandall and returned it 54 yards to the Viking 16 yard line.
Unfortunately, the most McPherson (2-3, 2-2 AVCTL Div. III) could manage was a TJ Stites 26 yard field goal. Winfield would score once more to put the game away on a Johnson 21 yard run with 1:15 left in the game.
Page 2 of 2 - Stites had a great showing at tail back for McPherson, having moved over from wide receiver due to injuries to Ty Hart and Jose Gloria. He had 19 carries for 126 yards on the ground. Kinnamon finished with 18 carries and 84 yards, while also completing 8-of-24 of his passes for 92 yards.
All told, McPherson had 315 yard of offense, while the Vikings (4-1, 2-1) put up 349 yards, 234 coming on the ground. Most of the rushing yards were garnered in the second half, particularly by Mays, who finished with 119 on 11 attempts.
McPherson is back home for only the second time this season on Friday, as they host Mulvane at 7 p.m. at McPherson Stadium.