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Perry Central shuts out South Decatur

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By Larry Goffinet

GREENSBURG—Perry Central used a balanced rushing attack and strong defense against the run to shut out South Decatur 21-0 in football Saturday.

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The Commodores held South Decatur to 18 yards rushing on 22 carries while gaining 207 yards themselves on 47 carries.

The Cougars did complete 17 of 34 passes for 164 yards.

But they also had one intercepted by Andrew Harpenau and one knocked down by Lucas Bryant. And their quarterback was sacked twice, by T.J. Hall and Kegan Hubert.

“The thing I really like about this game is it really tests your pass defense,” said Perry Central Coach Mike Spencer. “Overall I thought our coverage was pretty good.”

He was also pleased with his team’s defense against the run. “Most of what they (the Cougars) did last week was run, but we are a pretty good run defense team. We felt like if their quickness didn’t get outside they’d have a tough time running on us.”

Perry Central relied mostly on its ground game, though Dee Jay Shaw did complete a 60-yard pass to Clint George in the first half as he got behind the Cougar defense that was playing close to the line.

“They were trying to stop the run so we thought we could get a receiver open,” Spencer said of that play. “We’re capable of throwing some, but we wanted the clock to run today (incomplete passes stop the clock) and they didn’t.”

Shaw also completed a 15-yard pass to Mikey Wilkerson.

Shaw scored Perry Central’s first touchdown on a 1-yard run on the game’s opening series.

That 75-yard drive consisted of 12 running plays, including five for 45 yards by Hall

Hall scored the next touchdown on a 3-yard run and Mikey Wilkerson scored the final one on a 1-yard run.

The last two touchdowns were set up by fumble recoveries by Blaine Persinger and Harpenau.

Hall finished with 101 yards rushing on 17 carries and Wilkerson added 79 yards on 21 carries.

“That’s why I think our T is effective—it’s hard to key on any one of our backs,” said Spencer.

Perry Central recovered three South Decatur fumbles. But the Commodores also lost two fumbles that occurred on handoffs and bobbled one or two other exchanges between the quarterback and a running back.

“Part of it is inexperience (at quarterback),” Spencer said of the bobbled exchanges. “The game at the varsity level is so much faster than at the reserve level that it takes a little while to adapt.”

The game lasted three hours and 15 minutes to play thanks to the Cougars’ 17 incomplete passes and two Perry Central injury delays.

Noah Rasche was taken from the field in an ambulance after apparently suffering a mild concussion in the first half. But he rejoined the team before the game ended.

Casey Williams was life-flighted to an Indianapolis hospital after suffering a neck injury in the second half. He was back in school part of the day Monday, though still sore. 

Perry Central improved to 2-0 while South Decatur fell to 1-1.

The Commodores will visit Crawford County Friday at 7 p.m.