If there’s one thing Perryville football players are used to this season, it’s a game that lasts longer than expected.
But while Friday’s contest wasn’t nearly as long as their season-opening, 67-hour marathon game over Labor Day weekend, the game still didn’t end when the clock ran out.
Dawson Camden scored two touchdowns — one in overtime — to help lead the Pirates (3-1) to a 21-14 victory over Fredericktown (1-3) at Pirate Stadium in Perryville.
“I probably lost about five years of my life,” said Perryville Coach Blane Boss. “It’s a lot of stress. It was a heck of game. Hats off to Fredericktown. They played great, they didn’t quit, and our kids were the same.”
Camden scored the first touchdown for the Pirates on a 31-yard run in the second quarter, then bookended the game by scoring the game's final touchdown on a 25-yard run on the Pirates' first play from scrimmage in the extra period.
Camden finished with 86 yard rushing on 4 carries in a game that Pirates’ quarterback Evan Daugherty said felt more comfortable to him and his teammates, playing “nitty and gritty” football.
“Our guys do that,” Daugherty said. “We like to get in people’s heads and go hard every play. It worked out for us.”
Daugherty finished with 16 carries for 58 yards, and found a few opportunities to throw the ball as well, completing 3 of 11 passes for 55 yards with 2 interceptions.
After last week’s loss to Potosi, the first this season for the Pirates, Boss was a little concerned. The Pirates came into Friday’s game with four starters on the bench, including and Drew Hotop (knee) the teams second-leading rusher, but it wasn’t much of an issue.
“We had a lot of guys step up for us tonight,” Boss said, “and that’s why I’m so proud of them. That’s why it’s so important for those guys at practice. When they’re not first-team, they’ve got to pay attention.”
Perryville's defense also played a big role in the victory despite giving up several big plays to Fredericktown junior running back Malachi Kyle, who did everything in his power to run over, around, through and even under the Pirates.
Several key stops, including a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone by Carter Dix — the first pick of the season for Perryville and a fumble recovery by Matt Mueller — kept the Pirates, who trailed 14-7 in the third quarter, in the game.
Daugherty evened the score on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter, which turned into a defensive battle between the two teams before the clock ran out in regulation.
In overtime, the Pirates won the toss and lined up first. A quick run from Camden gave them the lead and then it was all in the hands of the defense, which Daugherty said was more than ready for the task.
“It was exciting,” Daugherty said. “I think all the guys got even more into the game and felt like they really wanted to win. It brought out more energy and more competitiveness.”
Fredericktown quarterback Evan Burrows, who ran for one touchdown and threw for another, handed off to Kyle three times and the Blackcats moved inside the 5.
An incomplete pass left them facing a fourth-and-goal from 4 yards out, along with a highly motivated Pirates defense. Burrows chose to throw one more time, but didn't connect, leaving the Pirates with the victory.
“I’m super proud of all of them,” Boss said. “They battled to the end and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”