The McPherson High School football team is hoping fourth time's the charm.

The McPherson High School football team is hoping fourth time is the charm.

While the Bullpups are 17-4 over the past two seasons, three of those losses have come at the hands of Maize South, including this season’s lone loss — a defensive-dominated 9-0 loss on Sept. 8 — and last year’s playoff loss that ended McPherson’s season. Friday night, the Bullpups will get a chance to end Maize South’s season and apply some overdue payback.

The Bullpups, winners of eight straight, have all the momentum in the world after last Friday’s thrilling overtime victory over Buhler. The time to celebrate the Buhler win has come and passed; now, the Bullpups are solely focused on beating Maize South.

“We had a great week of practice once again,” head coach Jace Pavlovich said. “These kids enjoy getting on the practice field to improve themselves. It’s emotionally draining to play in a game that comes down to the wire like that; our kids have bounced back very well. They understand that we did not play very well in week two against Maize South.”

If week two’s 9-0 game was any indication, both teams are led by stout defenses. The Bullpups are allowing a mind-boggling 7.7 points per game, and held the Mavericks to less than 200 yards of total offense back on Sept. 8.

The Mavericks aren’t too shabby on the defensive side either, giving up barely 10 points a contest. The two teams have combined for six shutouts and are most likely headed for another defensive standoff.

Points will be scare, so the Bullpups will need to take advantage of scoring opportunities — something they did not do well against Maize South earlier in the year.

“Offensively, we need to stay patient and take what they give us,” Pavlovich said. “We have improved dramatically in the run game since we played them last.”

The winner of Friday’s game will get the winner of Andover Central (5-5) and Andover (10-0).

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