By Staff for

            MCPHERSON – In dominating fashion the McPherson Middle School seventh-grade football team opened their 2022 season at home with a huge 52-12 drubbing of Valley Center on Thursday.

            “These boys only had about 10 practices to learn a whole new offense,” explained head coach Dustan Kanitz. “We as a coaching staff are proud of how much they learned and are excited to throw some more at them next week.”

            The seventh-grade Junior Pups offense was running on all cylinders as they rang up 324 yards of total offense including 237 of which came running the ball and 87 passing.

            McPherson first got on the scoreboard when Graham Prescott recovered a fumble and took it 35 yards to the end zone.

            Five times the Junior Pups scored with long running plays including two by Tre Winburn of 45 and 43 yards while Nico Monday scored on a 38-yard run, Jaxon Hoover ran a touchdown in from 39 yards out and Tripp Pelzel scored the final McPherson touchdown on a 14-yard run.

            Hoover connected with Nico Monday on a long 73-yard pass play for the other score in the game.

            Defensively, Carter Melton led the Junior Pups with eight tackles while both Graham Prescott and Tre Winburn each had three. Pelzel chipped in with another fumble recovery beyond the one Prescott had to start the scoring while Winburn had an interception.

            Coach Kanitz concluded his reflections on the team’s first game of the season by adding, “Going into this first game you don’t know for sure how your boys will react to live play. We saw some great performances, but also several little things that we can clean up in practices. The team definitely felt the support from the home fans tonight as well.”

            Next up for the Junior Pups seventh graders will be another home game on Thursday, September 8 when they play host to Derby.

(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at