McPherson pulls away from Ark City to reach semifinals

For the opening half, it was looking like recently crowned AVCTL-III/IV MVP in soccer Drew Schrader would carry the Bullpups football team as well.

9-0 the score at break, three Schrader field goals the difference as the Ark City defense did their part in keeping McPherson out of the endzone.

But it was the McPherson defense that did them one better, pitching a shutout for the first three quarters and setting the offense up for both of their touchdowns in what turned out to be a 26-6 win.

To start the second half, Brycen Labertew picked off Gabe Welch to put the Pups in Bulldog territory, leading to a Cody Stufflebean touchdown catch that got the game to 16-0.

After the fourth Schrader field goal of the game, Ark City came away with a big play after a simultaneous possession catch was awarded to Haden O'Toole, using that to lead to a Welch TD run. The Bulldogs recovered an onside kick the next play, but again it was the Mac defense that came up with the big stop.

Already facing 3rd and long, Stufflebean came up with a big sack of Welch, Ark City was unable to convert the long fourth down and Mac took over, driving down the field and killing the clock with Jakob Feil scoring from short to lock in the 26-6 win.

McPherson will now face Andover Central with a trip to the state title game on the line, their second straight sub-state appearance. In 2018 the Bullpups fell to Goddard 15-14 to see their season end just shy of the championship game.