Everything being equal, Perryville football coach Blane Boss likes how his team performed. The Pirates moved the ball on defense, were stingy on defense, and played much better than they had the previous week.
But if there was one place the Pirates could have done better it was in the redzone. Perryville had two golden opportunities to put points on the scoreboard inside the 20, but they stalled out.
Ste. Genevieve took advantage of those missed opportunities and scored on their own as Dragon running back Darrian Brown scored three touchdowns to lead Ste. Genevieve to a 27-7 victory on Friday night over Perryville at Pirate Stadium.
“It’s a tough one,” Boss said. “But the kids played hard and it just goes to show what can happen when you have a good week in practice. I don’t think the score is a true tell of the game and how close it was.”
Eric Roth and Drew Hotop led Perryville with 45 yards rushing apiece as the Pirates totaled 143 yards on the ground as a team.
The real change came in the passing game as the Pirates threw the ball 13 times for 125 yards. Hotop was 6 of 12 for 88 yards with one interception, while Seth Rousseau was 1 of 1 for 36 yards. Marcas Mahathath was a big recipient of the passing game, catching six of the seven completed passes for 106 yards. Carter Dix had one catch for 19 yards. Despite the improvement in all those numbers, the game did not start out exactly how Perryville wanted. Perryville fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff, which was recovered by the Dragons on the PHS 24 yard line. Ste. Genevieve drove all the way down to the 1-yard line before the Pirate defense held strong and stuffed Brown four times at the goal line.
The Pirates took over in the shadow of their own goal posts and looked to have a first down on a 3rd and 6 before the Pirates committed their second turnover in the opening minutes with another fumble. The Dragons didn’t miss this time as Brown ran it in from six yards out to give the Dragons the 7-0 lead with 8:23 left in the first quarter.
“You just can’t give a good team like Ste. Genevieve an extra possession like that with a fumble, especially so deep in our own end,” Boss said. The Pirates were stopped on a 4th and 1 near midfield.
A holding penalty negated a touchdown by Brown and set the Dragon offense up with a 3rd and 13. But quarterback Chad Donze found Devin Bader for a first down. Brown scored from four-yards out a few plays later to go up 14-0 in the first quarter.
“I thought in pregame warm-ups we were a little quiet,” Boss said. “I talked to Coach [Brent] Roth before the game and came out flat. Then finally we woke up a little bit.”
But as soon as the first quarter ended, the Pirates came alive.
Hotop found Mahathath for a 35 yard gain past midfield to the 36 yard line. Hotop broke through the line on the next play and was called out at the one-yard line. Roth scored a few plays later on a sweep to narrow the deficit to 14-7.
The Dragons drove down to the 10 yard line midway through the second quarter on a scramble on fourth down. But later in the drive, Roth cam on a blitz that forced an errant throw by Donze that deflected off a defender into the arms of Rousseau for the interception at the 4 yard line with about three minutes left in the half.
Roth went around the outside on a sweep for a 56 yard run before being tackled at the Dragon 40 yard line.
The Pirates drove all the way down to the 11 yard line before Hotop was stymied on a fourth and as he tried to be too fancy.
“We weren’t supposed to snap the ball and that was my fault,” Boss said. “We haven’t practiced that enough and I tried to draw something up in the dirt didn’t work.”
That would be the last chance for either team in the half as the Dragons went into the locker room up 14-7.
The Pirates came out fired up in the third quarter on defense as James Rhoden came up with a big sack on fourth down to give the Pirates the ball at the 41 yard line. That’s when Boss pulled something out of his bag of tricks.
Perryville was forced into a fourth and long, but Boss remembered something from either in the game and changed the play at the last moment.
The snap went to Rousseau for a pass and he found Mahathath for a 36 yard play to get Perryville down to the seven.
“They just left [Marcas] wide open and we saw it the first time and we wanted to see if they did it again and they did,” Boss said. Luckily we executed it.”
But the drive stalled from that point forward as Perryville missed a field goal to come away with no points.
The Pirates and Dragons fought all the way until the last three minutes as Brown bounced off four tacklers and ran for a 50-yard touchdown to essentially seal the game with 3:23 left in the game.
The Pirates will face Park Hills on Friday at home as they will attempt to get back on the winning track. Park Hills fell to Potosi 7-6 on Friday.