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Perryville coach Blane Boss looks for James Rhoden (above) to be one of four players to return from injury after last week’s loss to Park Hills.

 

Perryville football coach Blane Boss hates to lose. By his estimation, his Pirates have been doing too much of that lately after suffering their third consecutive loss on Friday. They will try their best to get back into the win column on Saturday when they travel to Portageville at 1 p.m. The different time of the Week 8 matchup doesn’t seem to faze Boss or his players after playing the previous seven weeks on the customary Friday night.

“It has its differences,” Boss said. “But all the kids that are on the varsity now were at least a part of the homecoming game last year on a Saturday. So there shouldn’t be too much of a change. It’s a chance to play football and a chance to get a victory.”

Victories have come few and far between for Perryville in recent weeks. Perryville is coming off a 42-7 loss to Park Hills, while Portageville beat East Prairie 52-28, thanks to 315 yards passing and five touchdowns from the arm of quarterback Connor Barham, despite fracturing his hand the week prior. On the flip side, Portageville only had 39 yards rushing on 21 carries last week. 

“He’s got a pretty good arm and can throw it pretty deep,” Boss said. “He will test our secondary and they will try to get behind us. They also have some pretty tall receivers who can go up and get the ball. But like any quarterback  on any level, they will look good if they have time to stand back there and throw. We have to disrupt that.”

On paper, Perryville should have the advantage in many areas with Portage being a Class 1 program. But Boss knows how the last matchup with a Class 1 team went this season when they fell to St. Vincent 12-7 in Week 5. Boss hopes his team won’t fall into the same trap this week.

“That’s always the train of thought,” Boss said. “That we being the bigger the comment is always that we should win this game because they are smaller than us. Sure that’s in the back of our minds, but we still have to come into practice and go hard and prepare and come out on gameday and play hard. We can’t go into this game thinking that we are going to win just by stepping on the field.”

But the Pirates should get some help from the injury report on Saturday. After losing seven different players throughout the game against Park Hills, Boss believes about four of them should return, including James Rhoden who has battled a shoulder injury throughout the season.

“As for those spots that aren’t filled by players coming back, it’s all about having that next guy step up fill the void to the best of their ability.”

Something the Pirates haven’t been doing so well at this season is scoring the football, especially in the red zone. Perryville is averaging 7 points in their last three games. It’s a facet of their game, Boss hopes to change this week.

“We have been getting close,” he said. “The problem we have been having is getting into the endzone. There was a point last week where we had it down to the 10 yard line in a 21-7 game and we couldn’t score. If we did put points up who knows how that game would have gone. We have to do a better job of picking up the intensity and bear down.”

However the game turns out though, Boss has one goal in mind.

“The top priority s to come out with a win,” he said.

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