Perry football gets miracle win, volleyball breaks out

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

It’s tough to end homecoming on a better note than Perry was able to last week. (Note: Events covered Sept. 13-19.)

Football (1-4)

When it came down to their last chance, the ball was put in the players’ hands to win the game they had fought to take into overtime.

Fourth and goal from the one-yard line, if the Bluejays couldn’t score, they’d give Des Moines Hoover a perfect opportunity to win the game. Perry head coach calls a timeout and notices the ball on the one-foot line and asks his Bluejays what they want to do.

Center Kain Killmer turned to quarterback Geren Kenney and confidently said they’d score on a QB sneak.

Perry players celebrate after scoring a touchdown against Des Moines Hoover on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Perry.

A few minutes later, the whole roster was in a dogpile when the team went to celebrate the 27-21 homecoming win, rushing to celebrate the goal line stand tackle that Juan Hernandez made to seal the win.

“We talked tonight, some of our coaches have been part of some pretty special wins, but that was the first time I’ve seen guys pile up like that,” Pierce said.

In essence, that celebration was the release of four years of losses. Season after season, the Bluejays had only known what it felt to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard. By comparison, a win was an explosion.

Perry's Geren Kenney runs the ball against Des Moines Hoover on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Perry.

Not only was it an overtime win that came down to two fourth down plays, the Jays were also playing from behind almost the entire game by a touchdown. But with quarterback Geren Kenney scoring three times on the ground and once more through the air to Holden Smith, they slowly chipped away to get that final lead. 

The team also took a novel approach in the backfield as fullback Keegan Snyder led the team with 109 yards on 24 carries. He added two tackles of loss on defense for even more impact. Kenney was the runner-up with 73 yards, mostly on designed runs where tailback Juan Hernandez laid some key blocks. 

Perry's Keegan Snyder sacks Des Moines Hoover's Braden Dill and forces a fumble on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Perry.

On Monday, Pierce said the excitement was still palpable with the team, more eager to watch game film and learn from mistakes compared to film sessions after losses. 

Now on Friday, the Bluejays host a speedy Indianola (3-1) team that will provide a whole new challenge compared to Hoover. But unlike previous weeks, Perry seems to have embraced the role as an underdog now that they’ve tasted a win.

Volleyball (3-8)

Also picking up a homecoming win, the Jayettes took down Saydel (4-6) to also get their first conference win of the season on Sept. 13.

Call it hard work paying off, or homecoming magic, but the Jayettes were a whole different team. In the 12 other matches this year, they’ve totaled 20 aces. In the match with the Eagles, the Jayettes aced 18 times. That supreme success was led by Taylor Atwell and Ashley Cerna with six apiece.

Apart from their success from the service line, Atwell led the team with 18 assists for a season-best mark. Cerna was also at the top of her game with 15 kills, followed closely by Kathryn West’s 10. Callie Steva also logged a high of four blocks. All told, Perry really had no other option but to win.