Perry football sees another defense-packed competition

Libbie Randall - Sports
Mike Echeverria, Luke Holthorf, and Xavier Craddock showed great success on the defensive side of the ball against North Polk. PHOTO BY LIBBIE RANDALL/THE PERRY CHIEF

Perry football saw such a defense-heavy game on Friday, Sept. 14 that the score remained null until late in the third quarter. A hard loss for the Bluejays, the Homecoming Game versus North Polk ended 8-6 in favor of the opposing team.

First quarter saw hustle on both sides of the ball from both teams. Perhaps the biggest play in the first 12 minutes came when the Bluejays were fourth and two when they made the choice to go for it. Justin Stammer made his first of many contributing moves when he picked up the Perry first down.

Perry saw a glimpse of hope that kick started the momentum in the second quarter when Cori Alamina recovered his own kick to run it around five yards. Alamina was taken down short of the first down and eventually led to a turn over on downs.

The Bluejays defense continued their hard fight throughout the rest of the second quarter. The team successfully held North Polk from multiple attempts for completions in the end zone at the end of the half and kept their opponent off the score board.

With a scoreless game going into halftime Head Coach Matt Hardy had some words of wisdom for his offense.

“(Going into halftime) we had had some success and we just had to finally punch one in,” Coach Hardy said.

The successful touchdowns came in the final quarter with North Polk running in to score six and adding another two with a two point conversion. Perry responded with even more effort on their defensive side to keep North Polk from their endzone for the rest of the game.

Perry’s turn came with less than five minutes left in the game. With a fourth down and two to go Kato Dougan ran the ball through the middle to get the Perry first down. Kaleb Olejniczak kept the ball in the next play to gain another tough five yards for the Bluejays. Finally the duo got the chance they had been waiting for and with an Olejniczak pass to Dougan Perry racked up six points with less than four minutes left in the game. Unfortunately the Bluejays couldn’t pull out the two point conversion and the score remained 8-6 until the final buzzer.

Coach Hardy said he was unprepared for the last play that could have resulted in a tied game.

“I take full responsibility for that two point loss tonight,” Coach Hardy said. “We just have to continue to get better during the week and execute on every single play on Friday nights. We’re a hard-working group of kids. We don’t have extreme athleticism in any one position so it takes 100 percent execution and almost a perfect football game from us to be on the winning side.”

Perry football is at home again for their next game on Friday, Sept. 21. The Bluejays will take on Dallas Center-Grimes beginning at 7:30 p.m.