By William for

(Post is SPONSORED by CrossDove Marketing)

SALINA – Working on the first cool day of the season and overcoming a sluggish start, the McPherson Middle School seventh grade football team went on the road Thursday and hammered Salina South Middle School 30-6.

The sluggish start appeared early as Salina South came out in their first offensive possession and left the Junior Pup defense behind by taking it down the field for a score on the very first play. After that first play, the Junior Pups locked it down and took the came over by shutting down the Salina South offense for the rest of the game.

“We came out pretty sluggish and lackadaisical but fortunately we turned it around,” noted seventh-grade Head Coach Brandt Busse. “Not entirely sure what was wrong with our boys, but not too long after that score they started to play with some fire.”

Leading the lockdown defense was Jase Fitzmorris who recorded 11 tackles which included a quarterback sack and a tackle for loss of yardage. Giving him help on the defensive side for the Junior Pups were Chase Garibaldi who recorded four tackles and one quarterback sack, while Chase Delaney and Logan Peterson also had four tackles each with Delaney also making a one for a loss of yardage and Peterson recovering a lose fumble.

“(Jase) Fitzmorris was a one-man wrecking crew for our defense and Salina South could not stop him from dominating up front,” added Coach Busse. “It was an incredible performance.”

Offensively, the Junior Pups started out slow when their first play from scrimmage, a pass play, was ruled as a catch and fumble. But eventually McPherson got things rolling and hammered Salina South for four touchdowns which included two scoring runs by Catch Delaney and two scoring passes from Carter Allen to Beckett Johnson (covering 50 yards) and Brock Richardson (covering 40 yards). Brody Seidl ran in two two-point conversions while Richardson scored the third.

Coach Busse noted the slow start on offense while praising the group doing all the work up front when he continued his post-game reflections by saying, “Offensively we started off slow but eventually we got going and had a monster day. The offensive line was amazing this week by allowing our team to rush for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while helping protect (Carter) Allen so he could complete six-of-seven passes for 187 yards and a pair of scores.”

Overall, Delaney led the Junior Pups in rushing with 57 yards while Copper Holler ran for another 42. Tight end Beckett Johnson was Allen’s top target covering 97 yards on pass receptions while Brock Richardson covered another 95 while each found the scoring end of passes as well.

“As a coaching staff we were proud of our guys for coming back this week to get a win,” concluded Coach Busse. “Even though we came out slow they were able to fight through it and come together. As always, it’s a privilege to coach this team and I love their grit and their competitiveness.”

The seventh-grade Junior Pups will return to the playing field next Thursday when they travel to Junction City.

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