Perryville hadn’t beaten Park Hills since a three-point victory in 2006. That double-digit losing streak may not have been vanquished Friday, but it was the closest the Pirates have come in the 13 years since.
Park Hills sophomore Dayshawn Welch plunged into the endzone with a four-yard touchdown run with 4:19 left in the game, for the Rebels’ only score of the game. It was enough to salvage a 7-6 homecoming victory over Perryville.
Park Hills cornerback Ruger Sutton intercepted a 4th-and-17 pass in the endzone on the first play of the fourth quarter to stymie Perryville’s opportunity to extend their lead. The Rebels completed a 14-play, 80-yard drive to complete the comeback. Park Hills converted a third and 13-yard pass to Braydon Scherffius to extend their drive and later Welch slashed up the middle for a 17 yard run to get to the four yard line. The Rebels went 4-4 on third downs in the final drive.
“When you lose by one point, it doesn’t get any closer than that,” Perryville coach Blane Boss said. “Our kids finally played the way I thought they could. We had a great week of practice and our defense trusted each other and did their job.”
Aside from that final drive, the Pirates controlled the Rebels offense, having the ball for 10 minutes of the first quarter, forcing three straight three-and-out possessions, which included big tackles for loss by Matt Mueller and Carter Dix. Perryville limited the Rebels to four plays in the first quarter and six rushes in the first half alone.
One week after Welch compiled a career high 227 rushing yards in a victory over Potosi, Welch had 135 yards on 19 carries, and was held under 100 for the three quarters.
Boss said that was a key of the game was limiting Welch, which kept them in the game despite scoring just once themselves.
“When we got to him, we tackled him,” Boss said. “There were times he ran through some tackles, but that is what the best running backs do. But we really didn’t do anything different, except that we were there for tackles and made them.”
That type of defense helped Perryville as the offense found their footing.
The Pirates fumbled on the opening drive, but got the ball back and did the most with it. Perryville completed a 11-play 65 yard drive for a touchdown, and it sure wasn’t easy. The Pirates converted three fourth down plays including at the goal line as a reverse to Dylan Holt at the three-yard line was successful giving Perryville a 6-0 lead, as the extra point was no good. The drive was aided by a 25 yard gain by Evan Daugherty on the ground.
Sometimes to complete an upset things have to go your way as well. Park Hills committed nine penalties for 80 yards including four in the redzone on the first drive of the second half for the Rebels. Two holding calls took away a touchdown run by Welch and another TD catch by Blake Bolin. A false start and delay of game pushed the Rebels back to having to attempt a 46 yard field goal, which came up short.
“We only had the ball twice in the second half, so I have to give Perryville a lot of credit there,” Park Hills coach Kory Schweiss said. “Of course, I could do without the penalties, but what I told the guys after the game was that we battled through that adversity and came through it with a win.”