The Bluejays were on the road for their last regular season game on Friday, Oct. 19. Perry football took on Humboldt to finish out the year 0-9 with the final score being 45-0.
Perry came out of the game with 26 yards on 23 carries.
Kaleb Olejniczak only saw three completed passes on 15 different attempts with a total of 15 yards. Unfortunately Humboldt was able to cross the path of two of those passes to intercept the ball twice. As for his defensive performance Olejniczak finished the game with 16 total tackles.
Head Coach Matt Hardy shared several moments of the game from his perspective, some of which happened within the first half.
“Kaleb (Olejniczak) got injured early in the game and had to come out for a series on defense and it really hampered his ability to run the ball on offense. Without having the threat of the quarterback run, it limits our offense significantly,” Coach Hardy said. “They (Humboldt) played a double tight formation and they had large splits upfront that enabled them to have some large holes that we struggled with. Not the way we wanted to finish out the season, but it is what it is.”
The Bluejays defense was not without it‘s accomplishments as they were able to stop Humboldt’s first attempt to run the ball in. However Humboldt tried again soon after and proved successful as they ran in just seven yards and added the two point conversion to boot.
Cori Alamina saw plenty of time on the field as the kicker punted nine times before the night was over, but contributed no points for his team. Justin Stammer was able to recover one fumble in Friday’s matchup.
The only Perry first downs came from two face mask penalties as opposed to the 23 total first downs on Humboldt’s side.
“Humboldt is a very sound team, very good size and has some very skilled players on both sides of the football,” Coach Hardy said.
When looking at this year as a whole, Coach Hardy shared some expectations and hopes he had for this team.
“The way we competed from start to finish this season was as I expected. I thought we might make some plays in crunch time that would propel us to a few wins. Things kind of went the opposite way,” Coach Hardy said. “If you look back at the season as a whole I think we would maybe be 10 plays away from being 5-4 versus 0-9 and that’s frustrating as a coach. I’m frustrated I wasn’t able to get a very deserving group of seniors a win or multiple wins. At the same time I think that shows our junior class that they really need to put in the work in the off season and they need to be mentally tough and bow your back when things seem to go awry.”
Hardy also showed continuous support for his seniors and the effort they were able to put in this fall.
“It’s (the seniors) a group of kids I have been coaching since they were in sixth grade. I had the opportunity to take them all to a youth football tournament in Ankeny and I have been coaching them ever since. I know this group very well. A lot of them did not have experience playing at the varsity level prior to this season because last year’s senior class was so talented. I thought they did a tremendous job at stepping in and playing at a high level,” Coach Haedy said. “I was a little bit hesitant going into the season thinking it might take us a couple games to get acclimated to the speed of playing on a Friday night, but they jumped right in. They greatly improved as football players form their freshman year to senior year.”
The Bluejays who played their last game of their high school career include Mario Cruz, Conner Kenyon, Kaleb Olejniczak, Hared Narber, Devon Timmons, Justin Stamme, Alex Nunez, Xavier Craddock, Jace Johnson, Hazem Elezaby, Alex Morales, Rony Reyes, Cesar Ramirez, Kade Killmer, Carlos Calderon, Mike Echeverria, and Luke Holthorf.