ABOUT THE COWBELL — The Perry-Jefferson football series is believed to be the longest-held rivalry in Iowa High School sports history, dating back to a 34-5 win by the Perry YMCA over Jefferson High on October 15, 1898. In 1928 the Perry and Jefferson Rotary Clubs offered a traveling prize, "The Cowbell" to the winning team. The teams will be meeting for the 82nd time since the inception of The Cowbell Trophy, with the Rams holding a 52-27 edge. The game was twice ended in a tie. In the past 10 years the Rams have claimed the prize seven times, although the Bluejays were the winners in two of the last three meetings, winning 26-14 in 2010 and 27-7 last season.
LAST MEETING — Perry won the Cowbell for the second time in three years with a 27-7 victory at Linduska Field. Will Whiton hit Ben Daniels with a 25-yard scoring strike to give Perry an 8-0 lead at the intermission. Greene County had the ball on the Perry side of the field most of the first half but were turned away six times on fourth down plays and kept off the scoreboard. Daniels scored on runs of six and 60 yards and Whiton added a 15-yard dash as the lead swelled to 27-0. Tory Beger helped Greene County avoid the shutout by scoring on a one-yard quarterback sneak with just over four minutes to play. Perry likely could have scored again and had the ball at the Ram five but the Jays took a knee to run out the clock.
ABOUT THE BLUEJAYS — First team all-state cornerback Will Whiton (five interceptions) returns at quarterback after finishing 42-of-99 for 594 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions last year. Ben Daniels had 15 catches for 158 yards and a TD last season and has been moved from the backfield (59 runs for 187 yards and three TDs) to the outside, where his size and speed should create numerous opportunities in the passing game. Also back is Nic Wilhelmi, who scored twice after catching nine balls for 92 yards. Whiton had eight TDs and 811 yards on 166 carries to lead the Perry ground game, with Seth Stetzel adding 211 yards on 53 runs. The defense will be led by Michael Lansing, who is the leading returning tackler with 72 stops, with Stetzel having made 62 tackles.
ABOUT THE RAMS — Greene County must replace Tory Beger, who accounted for all 1,464 passing yards last year. Senior Jeremy Scheuerman is the top returning rusher after carrying 57 times for 198. He caught 14 passes for 103 yards out the backfield. T.J. Lint was Beger’s main target, hauling in 51 passes for 596 yards and five TDs. Scheuerman (66) and Lint (55) are the top leading tacklers returning for the Rams. Greene County will also have to find a new placekicker and new punter to shore up the special teams but should be at least as good, if not better, on both the offensive and defensive lines.