The best thing that Perryville football coach Blane Boss and his team can do is move on. Perryville fell to St. Vincent 12-7 in the annual cross-town battle. While Boss was upset after the loss, he hopes the defeat can serve as a wake up call to his team as they enter the meat of their schedule.
“Hopefully it did” Boss said. “I guess we will find out in the next couple weeks. I think the players thought it was one of those games that was going to be handed to us and we didn’t go out and take it. St. Vincent was more excited about that game and that’s how they played it. We have to learn from our mistakes and move on to this week. That’s the beauty of football. We have to forget about it and focus on the game in front of us.”
That next opponent is Ste. Genevieve. The Dragons fell to Park Hills 28-7 last Friday, but Boss knows that the Dragons are always a tough matchup for his Pirates. The Dragons defeated the Pirates 33-21 last season.
“They like to spread you out and then they also will try to run right at you with powers and sweeps,” Boss said. “We have to be flexible on defense and make the proper adjustments when they come out in the different sets.”
Much like Perryville, Ste. Genevieve graduated a total of 21 seniors from last year’s team, but they still have a few key returners from 2017. Quarterback Chad Donze returns for his second year under center. Donze earned second-team all-conference last season and finished 7 of 17 for 89 while sharing time as quarterback against Park Hills. The Dragons replace standout receivers Gabe Griminger and Luke Brewster with a host of guys including Clayton Vaughns, Clayton Kreitler, and Coy Flieg. Sophomore all-region running back Darrien Brown returns and Boss said that he presents a great challenge.
“He’s a special type of athlete,” Boss said. “He will be hard to deal with. If he gets loose, he will be off to the races. We will have to do a good job of getting to him and taking him down on the first hit.”
The spread formation is something that the Pirates should be used to this season as a majority of the teams they have faced have used similar schemes, including last week against St. Vincent.
“It certainly helps,” Boss said. “St. Vincent had some tall receivers that caused us problems and in the quarterback raises his level of play every time he plays Perryville. Seeing him was definitely a good look to what we might see this week. But the physicality will be much different than what we saw last week.”
The Pirates gained 229 total yards with every few holes to run through last week against St. Vincent. Boss knows that has to improve if the Pirates want to be able to keep up with the high-powered offense that Ste. Genevieve can deploy in any game. Boss noted everyone, including himself, has to be better to improve on the 14 points per game the Pirates average this season.
“There were several missed opportunities that we had last week,” Boss said. “There were a couple open receivers that we missed and blocks that could have created holes for our running back to squirt through. The system we have works so that means we have to coach better and execute better on the field. That’s all there is to it.”
This game is also big in terms of the schedule as Perryville currently sits in third in the Class 3, District 1 standings, while Ste. Genevieve sits in fourth. The Pirates and Dragons matchup is also a key conference matchup.
“Ste. Genevieve is also a powerhouse in this area and are very hard nosed.They will come ready to play,” Boss said. “We will have to be ready for war on Friday night.”