WINFIELD—As the McPherson High School football gets ready for their first road game of the year against Winfield High School, head coach Jace Pavlovich, and the Bullpups must get over the hump that they have been dealing with since Pavlovich took over as head coach. That's winning week two opponents.

That's one stat you don't usually pay attention to until it keeps consistently happening. The Bullpups lost to Maize South in the past two seasons (9-0 in 2017, 14-6 in 2016) and to Andale High School 29-8 the year before that. The last time the Bullpups defeated a week two opponent was in 2011 in a tight ball game against Salina South 41-39. Since then, McPherson is 0-6.

"We got something to prove in week two," Pavlovich said. "We got to overcome bumps and bruises, but we'll get there."

The Vikings had a tough battle in their 7-3 loss to Arkansas High School last Friday. Luckily for McPherson, they beat the Vikings four years straight. For Pavlovich, this could be good as it gets from the Vikings.

"They are a well-coached team, and I have respect for Coach (Linn) Hibbs and the staff," Pavlovich said. "They always been well coached. They have some talent to go with their coaching. I feel like this is the best Winfield team I've seen in a long time. Matter of the fact this is the best Winfield team since they beat us few years back. "We've been preparing very well and we've respect the heck of these guys and we got to go play a complete game if we want to get the win."

The last time Vikings defeated the Bullpups, they ended up finishing 7-3 that year.

What the Bullpups want to avoid, compared to last week's win over Salina South High School, is bad starts despite finishing strong in the second half. Pavlovich wants to start fast and finish strong if they want to overcome the week two curse.

"Last year we didn't start very well either," Pavlovich said. "That's one thing we've been focusing on offensively. It's going to come. Salina South was one of the best defensive lines, I hope, we see all year. The kids are working hard, and we're improving. I don't think anyone is taking Winfield for granted for dang sure."

The game will take place at Southwestern College Jantz Stadium. Kickoff will begin at 7 p.m.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_or our sports page @MacCountySports