By William for


MCPHERSON – The McPherson Middle School seventh-grade football team stayed unbeaten as they won game number three at home on Thursday by taking down Salina Lakewood 22-8.

A 57-yard touchdown pass from Carter Allen to Brock Richardson put the Junior Pups on the board early as Allen connected with Richardson for another scoring pass later in the game. The third score of the game for the Junior Pups came on an interception by Brenden Doile who dashed for the end zone once he got his defensive hands on the ball.

“It was a fantastic win for us today,” noted seventh-grade Head Coach Brandt Busse. “The guys had to face a little more adversity this game as Salina Lakewood did a good job of containing our offense for most of the game. As a coaching staff we were extremely pleased to see the way our guys continued to fight and come out with the win.”

Offensively, outside of Allen totaling 129 yards in the air to lead the team, Coach Busse referenced the struggles when he said, “After the opening scoring pass we struggled. We could not seem to find a way to run the ball, which has not been the case for us this year. However, our guys kept fighting and found a way to get it done in the air.”

On defense, Jase Fitzmorris had a huge game by getting two quarterback sacks to go along with eight tackles, while Chase Garibaldi made five tackles and one sack of the Lakewood quarterback.

“Defensively this was the first time we have been scored on this year,” added Coach Busse when talking about his defenders. “But the boys did a great job of adjusting and shutting out Salina Lakewood the rest of the game. We also had two interceptions on the day with both coming at key moments. The Brenden (Doile) interception that he returned for a touchdown was a play that reignited our football team and things started to click again. The other interception was made by Carter (Allen) at the end of the game to seal the contest.”

Coach Busse smiled as he finished his post-game reflections by saying, “Overall, we were just extremely proud of our guys for stepping up today. We have a few things to iron out before our game against Maize on Tuesday.”

The seventh-grade football team goes on the road next Tuesday when they travel to Maize.

They were unable to have a full ‘B’ game on Thursday, but they played enough for Kyle Auman to record four tackles while Beckett Johnson and Palmer Heskett each made three. On the offensive side, Alec Harms led the team in rushing with 46 yards and one touchdown.

According to Coach Busse, “Unfortunately, we were not able to have a full ‘B’ game today, but our guys did get to see some action. We saw some really good things from our guys today and are excited to get to see them in action in a couple of weeks when we travel to Maize for a full game.”

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