NEWTON— It wasn't a pretty match for the McPherson High School boys soccer match, but the Bullpups pulled off a 4-1 victory against their long-time foe Newton High School on Saturday morning.

Base on the final score, it looked like the Bullpups dominated the Railers. That wasn't the case. Each goal, the Bullpups had to earn due to Newton's aggressive defense.

“It was a good test,” said Bullpups' head coach Chris Adrian said after the game. “This one showed us a lot of things we need to work on because offensively, I wouldn’t say we played stellar today. We played hard, that was something we talked about with the team before (the game). But I liked the way the team competed, and we handled that adversity at the end when the game started to get a little chippy. I thought we kept our composure pretty well and just kept battling.”

The Bullpups had a strong first half as they led 2-0. Both Tyler Hoxie and Rhett Edmonson scored the first two goals for McPherson. Drew Schrader gave Hoxie the assist on the first goal. The Railers wasn't out it just as they were able get a goal before the end of the first half.

Early on in the second half, the Bullpups looked like a different team as they struggled in execution. Newton had full control, and it was a matter of time the Railers were one goal away of turning this game around.

"We just lost control, " Hoxie said. "We tried to kick it long, and it looked like a track meet instead of playing soccer."

The Bullpups finally caught a break when Hoxie scored his second goal of the day off a penalty kick. Less than a minute later, the Bullpups put the nail in the coffin when Jael Jaimie connected with Britton Haigh with the Bullpups fourth goal.

The Railers got more chippy as time was running out. The Railers were called for multiple fouls. One of it earned them a red card, which is automatic one-game suspension. The Bullpups, which returned 10 starters, were not phased by Newton's antics as they continued to finish the match without any kind of controversy.

"I thought we handled that adversity in the end when things started to get chippy," Adrian said.I thought we kept our composure pretty well and just kept battling."

One scary moment for the Bullpups was their starting goalkeeper Nathan Lloyd, who was on the ground for a few minutes after trying catch a save for the Bullpups. As he led with seven saves on Saturday's win, he took a tough beating that had him limping off the field after the win. Adrian admired Lloyd's toughness as he wanted to finish the game.

“He was a warrior today. Some of them were a little unnecessary, and some if he could clean up a few things, he's not going to get hit.” Adrian said. “I was really happy he stayed in and kept competing."

A road win against Newton meant more for the seniors because they have never beaten the Railers at Fischer Field. the last time the Bullpups played there, they lost 3-2 in double overtime in 2017.
"It feels good because we lost in our freshmen, sophomore year in double overtime to them," Hoxie said. "Beating them 4-1 last year and beating them 4-1 today on their home field obviously feels really good, and my senior year... it's the last time we get to beat Newton, we get to come out on top."

The Bullpups will have their home opener on Thursday as they host Salina South High School at 7 p.m.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.comor follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_oroursports