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Ark City looking to beat McPherson to advance to state title game

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 9:25 PM CST
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ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (Catch it Kansas) - Ark City football has made it to the 4A semifinals; the furthest they’ve reached in the playoffs in over three decades.

Senior safety and tailback Owen Bucher said, “We’ve got a really tough league and there’s some good competition when we get into the 4A for state playoffs and we’ve progressed a lot over the year and we’ve just gotten better.”

The Ark City Bulldogs entered the playoffs with a 2-6 record. Now they’re preparing for the 4A state semifinals.

Ark City head coach Jon Wiemers said, “I think we’re battle tested in our league. When you play in the AVCTL too, we don’t quite have the numbers they do. So we match up a little bit more when we start getting against opponents in the playoffs.”

Senior wide receiver and cornerback Haden O’Toole said, “We’ve had the game by game mindset each week. We’d steadily gotten better over the weeks and we beat Andover Central, we beat Wamego and it’s a blast.”

Friday they’ll face McPherson, just one game out from the state championship match. But the Bullpups have ended their season the last three years with Wiemers as head coach.

“We’ve been looking forward to it all year. We were hoping we’d run into them again. We’re just ready for them,” said Bucher.

“We’ve got seven dudes that have been losing to them for years now and we’re not ready to go home against them anymore,” said O’Toole. “So I definitely think it’s going to be a big contest. And I think we’re head to head with them, it’s just whoever makes some plays at the right time.”

“We’ve closed the gap within the last couple years and we know it’s going to be a challenge and I think our kids are hungry to go play the game and see what happens,” said Wiemers.

With COVID restrictions limiting fan attendance, the Bulldogs said they’ve heard of multiple Friday night football watch parties being planned around Ark City.

“I wish everyone could come to the games, I’m sure it’d be packed but I know everyone at home is watching us, that hasn’t happened in years,” said O’Toole.

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