McPHERSON — Augusta didn't finish the regular on a high note on a cold, Friday night, but the Orioles did give McPherson High School the run for its money in the first 3½ quarters. However, it was the Bullpups that was victorious at 32-14.
Our kids played as hard as they played," Augusta Head coach Jason Filbeck said. "We knew going in and right now they are the one seed in the west and we want to show that we could play with anybody. For 3.5 quarters we did."
The Orioles were on the verge of finishing the season at .500, but will have to settle for 3-5 on the year. While Bullpups earned the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A West Standings at 7-1.
McPherson's offense started off strong due to its running attack led by Jaytin Gumm, who rushed for 97 yards in 15 carries. After making two big run plays, it would set up the Bullpups' first touchdown pass at the four. Rinker connected with Gus Ruddle on a fade route to make it 6-0.
Since then, Augusta's defense was able to take advantage of McPherson's mistakes. Kaden McDaniel made plays on both defense and special teams as he recorded a blocked punt and interception, which would put the Orioles in good field position. Unfortunately, Augusta remained scoreless in the first half.
The offense finally got going in the second half. Midway through the third quarter, the Bullpups scored its second touchdown of the night led by a short-yard run by Brycen Labertew. Augusta was not completely out of it. Jett Hand threw his first touchdown pass of the night to Ely Wilcox for 30 yards to make it 12-7.
The Bullpups owned the fourth quarter as they outscored the Orioles 20-7. Aaron Powell made a big on 34-yard jet sweep to have McPherson lead 18-7. Gumm and Sky Schriner added two more rushing yards to close out the win for McPherson. Hand did throw his second touchdown pass to Sebastian Flowers despite falling behind with 3:37 left. Hand threw 3 for 12 for 64 yards and an interception.
"We were kind of in the mode where we didn't want to be having to throw it. We wanted to shorten the game and run the ball at them and keep it low-scoring, which we did most of the game. Long down the distance, we have to throw one and he made a good play on fourth down and forth down here. Whatever we had to do, this was a really good team, so we knew we were going to have to play our best game to be in it."
As both teams await for the official brackets, Augusta is likely going to be in the middle of the pack in seeding. Filbeck is concerned with injuries from his top players, including Ryan Andrews, who got hurt late in the second quarter, but is determined to see how far his Orioles will make this postseason.
"We've not lived up to the way we hoped yet. We're in the bracket like everybody. So hopefully we're able to make some noise in the bracket. "I think when we are healthy, if we get a couple of those guys that were hurt tonight, we'll be fine. We'll be a tough out for somebody. "
Dylan Rinker (McPherson): 10-19, 107 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Jett Hand (Augusta): 3-12, 64 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Jatin Gumm: (McPherson): 15 car. 97 yards, 1 TD
Holt Williams (Augusta): 10 car. 37 yards
Aaron Powell: (McPherson): 5 rec. 78 yards, 1 TD
Ely Wilcox: (Augusta) 2 rec. 31 yards, 1 TD