The defense has been the calling card for Perryville football in the two-plus years under coach Blane Boss. On Friday night, Potosi exploited that defense for several big plays and the Trojans walked out with a 34-20 victory at Pirate Stadium.
The defense that has been a stalwart for the Pirates this season was gashed for 294 yards on the ground by the Trojans, including 178 yards from senior running back Isaac Gaghen on eight carries. Potosi quarterback Andrew Coleman completed 5 of 9 passes for 78 yards.
“I’m super proud of our guys, they battled their butts off,” Boss said. “We were missing five or six guys tonight and we had second string guys in, third string guys in. We played until the end and that’s all you can ask for. “
The Pirates were without versatile senior Eli Bierk, defensive end Chris Ernst, and while he played Caleb Gremaud battled a knee injury all night, just to name a few.
Junior Dylan Holt, who replaced Bierk as linebacker, came up with a big play right before halftime.
The Pirates drove down the field, and while it looked as if senior running back Drew Hotop had snuck inside the pylon, but was called out at the one yard line on third down. On the ensuing fourth down play quarterback Evan Daugherty was stopped short on the quarterback draw and Potosi took over.
That drive didn’t last long because on the second play Potosi fumbled and Holt recovered the ball in the endzone to bring Perryville closer at 13-7, with 2:43 left in the first half.
Those big plays reared their heads on the next drive as Gaghen broke a 50 yard run to the Pirate 20 and running back Wade Mercille plowed in for a seven-yard touchdown run to give Potosi a 19-7 lead at halftime.
Potosi’s first drive of the second half was more of the same as Gaghen again gashed the Pirate defense for a 60-yard run, down inside the five yard line, where Brayden Isgriggs scored one play later giving Potosi a 27-7 lead after a successful two-point conversion with less than one minute gone in the second half.
If not to make matters worse, the Pirates suffered yet another injury later in the quarter as Drew Hotop left with a knee injury, and did not return.
Despite the loss of Hotop, Perryville did make a come back of sorts, and through the air no less. A horse collar tackle on the next drive set the Pirates up on the Potosi 31 and two plays later Daugherty found Carter Dix for the 26 yard touchdown bringing Perryville within 27-13 with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
Daugherty completed 11-22 passes for 134 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Dix caught five passes for 68 yards, while Dawson Camden caught a pair of passes for 34 yards and one touchdown.
Daugherty added another 82 rushing yards on 22 carries. Ethan Moran had 22 yards on three carries. Perryville takes on Fredericktown in week 4.