Perry Central enjoys 56-0 win in Crawford’s home debut
The Perry Central Commodores exploded with five first-quarter touchdowns to put Crawford County in a deep hole in the Wolfpack’s first-ever varsity home football game Friday night. The hole proved too deep as the Commodores went on to roll to a 56-0 win.
‘We just got hit by a buzzsaw,’ said Crawford coach Brian Ruble. ‘They’re that good.’
‘This was a big game for Crawford because they’re starting into the program and had all the special ceremonies and things that go with it,’ Perry Central coach Mike Spencer said. ‘We knew they were going to be fired up over that part of it. What we have to do is play with the same intensity each week and (make) sure we’re taking care of us. We thought if we just take care of us, that would take care of the game.’
The Commodores won the coin toss and then raced the ball out to the 34-yard line on the kickoff return. From there, it took Perry just one play to get on the board as standout running back Bo Gibson shot through a big hole opened by his offensive line on the right side. Gibson raced 66 yards for the score, and Wes Linette’s extra point gave Perry a 7-0 lead.
Crawford struggled on its first offensive possession as Perry’s Jordan Esarey intercepted a Daniel Allen pass on the Wolfpack’s second play. Seven plays later, Gibson was in the end zone again, this time on a one-yard run.
Crawford went three-and-out on its next possession, and Andy James got Perry’s third TD of the period on a 44-yard run.
The Wolfpack had two more turnovers in the quarter resulting in Perry scores, the first on a Gibson one-yard run and the second when Austin Hauser threw to Landon Neukam from 13 yards out to give the Commodores a 35-0 lead.
‘What we have to do, you’ve got to take each week as it comes along … ‘ Spencer said. ‘We don’t concentrate as much on the opponent sometimes as much as making sure we do what we want done. That keeps us on a real fine focus level.’
‘They scored real quick on South Decatur,’ Ruble said. ‘They scored real quick on Corydon. I said, ‘Hey, you guys, keep positive.’ We were up, but they were just better up front and better disciplined. (Spencer’s) got a lot of seniors on this group and they showed they’re a better football team.’
Paul Reyling got Crawford in better field position with a return to the 41-yard line after Perry’s seventh touchdown. After two carries by Evan Crecelius, Allen threw to Nick Cotner for Crawford’s first first down and past midfield to the Perry 47-yard line. The Commodores, however, toughened up their defense after that and the Wolfpack again had to boot the ball.
‘We had one kickoff where they got back to midfield,’ Spencer said. ‘I thought we broke down a little bit on that one, because they made a really good return.’
Perry didn’t score on its first possession of the second period, but the Perry defense kept the Wolfpack on their side of the field. With 5:44 to go in the half, Crawford punted and Linette ran 65 yards into the end zone and got the extra point for a 42-0 Perry lead.
Crawford fumbled on the first play of its next possession, and James scored from three yards out for a 49-0 lead, the score at halftime.
Crawford’s defense picked up a little more steam in the third period against the Perry starters, keeping the Commodores out of the end zone until the three-minute mark, when James scored on a one-yard run to make it 56-0.
The Wolfpack did make one scoring threat late in the third, getting three first downs to reach the Perry 28-yard line. That was eventually stopped, however, as Hauser intercepted an Allen pass with 11 minutes to go in the game.
‘They scored one touchdown the second half,’ Ruble said. ‘With those starters, it took a while to get down there. I was proud of our effort the second half. We didn’t lose our enthusiasm, even though we knew we weren’t in the ball game. It’s hard to come back out and play hard, and we did … ‘
‘I thought defensively we played well, and I thought our offense played well,’ Spencer said. ‘We made more mistakes than I wanted. We had two or three penalties there in a row in the first quarter. That’s really not characteristic of what we do. That bothered me a little bit.’
Crawford (0-3) finished with 84 rushing yards. Reyling carried the ball nine time for 31 yards, while Crecelius finished with 20 yards also on nine carries. Allen had 19 yards on seven runs, and Aaron Robinson carried the ball seven times for 14 yards. Allen also complete two of 10 passes for 22 yards and threw four interceptions. The Wolfpack had just six first downs for the night.
On defense, Zach Sims and Robinson had five tackles each. Casey Benham and Chris Newton had three tackles each, and D.J. Cunningham had the team’s only sack.
‘I see good things happening, and we’re getting better,’ Ruble said. ‘Adam Dixon came in and played one outstanding defensive end for us after Dustin Bowling went down with a hand injury. He also went in on offense for (Joe) Schwartz, who came out with an ankle injury. He did outstanding. I want to commend Adam, because he did a heck of a job.’
Gibson led the Commodores (3-0) with 115 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns. James also had a good night, scoring three TDs.
Ruble said his team must now put that game behind it and think about the upcoming games.