For Perryville football coach Blane Boss this week is about two things: stopping their losing skid and limiting the homecoming distractions.
Perryville will take on Portageville on Saturday for the annual homecoming game. For Boss, he wants his team to focus on football.
“We are just focused on ourselves this week, and what we need to do to get ready for Portageville,” Boss said. “When we get between the lines, our minds need to be on doing our jobs and let everyone else worry about homecoming and stuff like that.”
Portageville is coming off a 41-6 loss to East Prairie in week 7, and the Bulldogs have lost their previous three games, giving up at least 40 points in each defeat.
Perryville (3-4) has also lost their last three games, but Boss sees his team going in the right direction after a 7-6 loss to Park Hills, after giving up at least 40 points in the previous two games.
“If we played like we did last week, we wouldn’t have many losses, if any at all,” Boss said. “We still made some mistakes, but if we continue to get better and limit those mistakes, but that’s easier said than done.”
Portageville senior Jared Crafton is the main cog in the Portageville attack taking snaps in a variety of positions from running backing, wide receiver, and even quarterback. Crafton has more than 300 yards rushing on the season for the Bulldogs.
For his team to be successful, Boss and his offense will attempt to limit the time the Portageville offense is on the field. The Pirates did that last week having the ball for more than 10 minutes in the first quarter against Park Hills limiting them to six rushing plays in the first half and two drives total in the second.
“Our offense definitely helped out our defense,” Boss said. “We held on to the ball and when you do that you have to pick up first downs, and we were doing that. Our defense did a great job of swarming to the football, we also got a couple of breaks. It looked like we were confident in what we were doing.”
However, it turns out Boss is hoping for a win on Saturday to get back on the right track.
“That’s the plan,” he said.
St. Vincent at Grandview
St. Vincent took one on the chin last week. St. Pius handed the Indians a 30-6 homecoming defeat in week 7, snapping the team’s four game winning streak.
“It was one of those games where, everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong,” St. Vincent football coach Tim Schumer said. “we didn’t start very well and in the second half we had five offensive plays and three turnovers.”
Schumer hopes his team can learn from the loss moving forward.
“We can use this as kind of a motivational tool to bring everybody back down to earth and make sure they know that we may be close, but we haven’t quite arrived yet,” Schumer said. “There’s still a lot of hard work to be done. But the good thing is there are still at least three games left.”
One of those games is Friday as the Indians travel to Grandview for their week 8 contest. The Eagles (1-5) got their first win this season in week 6 with a 28-22 victory over Herculaneum, that is after 23 straight losses and that doesn’t include cancelling the 2017 season and rebuilding. Schumer noted that this Grandview team is much improved.
“They are certainly trending in the right direction,” Schumer said. “They are playing some good football, so we have to come ready this week to play.”
Grandview is led by running back David Creath, who leads the team with 474 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Creath also leads the team with four catches for 128 yards and two scores, but the Eagles are mainly a split back team that runs some option, according to Schumer and the stats back that up.
Creath leads the team with 101 carries and five other players have at least 20 carries on the season. Chase Wilson is second on the team with 197 yards on 68 carries.
The Indians may have to defend that offense without on of its leaders. Senior linebacker, and running back Nick Lappe left Friday’s game with an ankle injury.
“He’s kind of a key piece on both offense and defense for us and I believe he will be a game-time decision this week,” Schumer said. “But this game will be good for us to see how we respond from a big loss the week before.
However if there’s one thing that Schumer knows about it’s the character of his team.
“This team is full of a bunch of guys that will never give up,” Schumer said. “One of the things the St. Pius coach said after the game is how much he admired how we battled until the end. That’s the thing I love most about this team.”