McPHERSON – The Abilene Cowboys may have faced the toughest team on their 2018 schedule as they faced the McPherson Bullpups Friday night in McPherson.
Ranked second in Class 4A, the Bullpups scored on the first offensive possession of the game enroute to a 62-6 thumping of the Cowboys.
McPherson senior running back Jace Kinnamon took a handoff at its own 19-yard line and broke away from Cowboy tacklers and rambled 81 yards for the first of his five rushing touchdowns in the first half of the ballgame. Kinnamon had rushing scores of 81, one and three yards in the opening period and he scored twice in the second period on runs of 16 yards and one yard in the second quarter.
McPherson quarterback Kyler Hoppes went 11 of 15 for 243 passing yards and three first half scores. The 6-1, 178 senior signal caller found an open receiver in the back of the end zone for the Bullpups third score of the first quarter. That play went for 11 yards on the fifth snap of McPherson’s third possession.
Following an interception of a Cowboy pass, the Bullpups ran six plays before Hoppes threw a two-yard strike into the end zone to give the Bullpups 27-0 first-quarter lead.
As time ran out of the first period, Kinnamon burst through the Cowboy defense for three yards and McPherson went to the second quarter leading 34-0.
“We just have to keep trying to get better,” Abilene head coach Steve Simpson said following the game. “That’s what I told the kids after the game. That’s about all I could say to this group of kids. We did some things better tonight but I don’t think we have seen a team like that since I have been here. Honestly, I don’t think we have. Their best team or Buhler’s best team, any of them aren’t what that team was tonight. We have not seen a team like that since I have been here.
“They are big and physical and athletic,” Simpson added about McPherson. “It is what it is. We have a lot of young kids out their playing against some men and we were shorthanded tonight. But, I thought we had some kids do some things pretty well.”
Abilene’s young offense struggled all evening against the bigger, more physical Bullpup defenders. The Cowboys had 13 offensive snaps in the first quarter without obtaining a first down.
Late in the second period the Cowboy offense put together their best possession of the game as sophomore running back Caleb Burt took a handoff from Jackson Randles and broke into the open down the left sideline for 54 yards down to the McPherson 20-yard line. Two plays later, Burt rushed 18 yards for a Cowboy touchdown to make the score 55-6 in favor of McPherson.
Following the Abilene kickoff after the touchdown, Hoppes connected with his favorite target of the game Gabe Hoover for an 81-yard touchdown with just over two minutes left in the opening half.
That ended the scoring in the game as neither team found the end zone in a shortened second half of play. Because of the score differential, the third and fourth quarters were played under a running clock.
“The miscues that we had tonight on offense, we just need to keep working on them in practice to get better.” Simpson said. “The kids have to be focused in practice to try and get better and correct those mistakes.”
The Cowboys go back on the road this week, as they will play St. Mary’s Colgan of Pittsburg at Circle High School in Towanda. This game counts as a home game for the Cowboys although played on a neutral site. This is the first year of a two-year agreement to play Colgan in football.
Colgan, a Class 1A school, is 3-1 and sets atop its district with that record. Colgan lost its game this past week 20-0 to Centralia. It won 40-6 over Columbus, won 14-0 over Frontenac and won 47-8 over Baxter Springs so far this season.
“They’ll be a good football team,” Simpson said. “We don’t have any easy games on our schedule.”
McPherson 62, Abilene 6
Abilene 0 6 0 0 – 6
McPherson 34 28 0 0 – 62
M – Kinnamon 81 run. Alexander kick. 11:42
M – Kinnamon 1 run. Kick failed. 9:53
M – Hoover 11 pass from Hoppes. Alexander kick. 6:43
M – Huff 2 pass from Hoppes. Alexander kick. 3:39
M – Kinnamon 3 run. Alexander kick. 0:00
M – Kinnamon 16 run. Alexander kick. 8:38
M – Kinnamon 1 run. Alexander kick. 6:08
A – Burt 18 run. Kick failed. 2:49
M – Hoover 81 pass from Hoppes. Alexander kick. 2:30