JUNCTION CITY, Kan. – The Bullpup Football team traveled to Junction City on Friday, for their first road test of the season, taking on the Class 6A Junction City Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays would drive down the field on their first drive of the game, but the Pups were able to take their initial punch, holding the Blue Jays to just 3 points the rest of the half. In the second quarter, the Pups were able to get into a rhythm finding wide receiver Gunner Schumacher on a few occasions, along with finding a steady ground attack with Jaytin Gumm and Dawson Gottwald. Shoemaker would catch a touchdown pass from Hunter Alvord midway through the second, but the extra point would be blocked.
The Bullpups would have one final possession with under two minutes before the half, as they looked to take a 6-3 lead into the locker room, but a couple strong runs from Gottwald, put the Pups within striking distance. The drive would continue with back-to-back catches from Sam Becker, and the Pups would move even closer after the Blue Jays would be flagged for a late hit. Shortly thereafter, the drive was capped off with a Jaytin Gumm touchdown. The two-point conversion was no good, but the Pups would go into the half leading 12-3.
In the second half, it was a heavy dose of Junction City quarterback Xavion Felton, as he led the Blue Jays ground attack, tallying three touchdowns in the half. “We struggled to stop the run.” said Bullpup Head Coach Jace Pavlovich. ”We were fortunate in the first half to get them behind the chains, and forced them to put the ball in the air.”
The few opportunities the Pups had in the second half would be negated by uncharacteristic penalties, as they were held to a field goal the rest of the way, falling 30-15. “When it comes down to it, we were not super disciplined defensively in the second half.” Pavlovich said, “We fought like crazy, our kids got a lot of fight in them, they’re tough, but the fact of the matter is that you can’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
Pavlovich concluded by saying, “We’ll reevaluate where we’re at tomorrow, but we got what we wanted out of this game; we got a tough game, we learned a lot about ourselves, and learned a lot about what we need to improve on.”
Next week, the Bullpups move to 2-1 overall, and return home for league-action as they’ll host the Circle Thunderbirds at 7 p.m.