LOUISBURG — All five of McPherson High School’s losses this season have come on the road against good teams. Thursday night in Louisburg, the Bullpups avenged every single one of those losses.
A second-half penalty kick from sophomore Tyler Hoxie was the difference, as the Bullpups stormed into Louisburg and stole a 2-1 victory in the state quarterfinals. The Bullpups are now one of four teams remaining in Class 4-1A, and will take on defending state champions Bishop Miege on Friday at 5 p.m. at the College Boulevard Activity Center in Olathe.
McPherson head coach Chris Adrian praised his Pups postgame for a gutsy performance.
“Playing on a grass field, after a long drive, in a hostile environment was a challenge, but these Pups didn’t back down,” Adrian said. “I am so proud of this team and pumped to know these guys are going to get the opportunity at state they deserve. They play for each other and that’s what makes them so tough.”
With nine minutes remaining in the first half, senior Darrius Armstrong put the Pups on the board off a deflection that was misplayed by the goaltender. Adrian said the Bullpups had a few good scoring chances in the first half, but settled for the one-goal lead at halftime.
Louisburg responded early in the second half with the equalizer, but the tie game did not last very long.
Again Armstrong was in the thick of things, chasing down and stealing the ball away from a Louisburg defender, then centering the ball to sophomore Drew Schrader who was taken out by the defense, giving the Bullpups a penalty kick.
Hoxie took the shot, and buried it to put the Pups back on top with 33 minutes remaining. In the final 30 minutes, especially the last 10, the Bullpups hung on for dear life.
“In the final 10 minutes we rode our luck a bit as Louisburg hit the crossbar twice, but we managed to hold on and get the win,” Adrian said. I’m so proud of these boys and glad I get the pleasure of coaching them for a few more days.”
McPherson is now 14-5-0 and will face top-ranked Bishop Miege in the semifinals. On the other side of the bracket, Andover Central (16-3-0) faces Spring Hill (13-6-0) following the McPherson game.
Contact Gallagher Martin by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel