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Outside The County-Peru

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Results from Peru for Friday, October 20th

On a beautiful fall Friday night for High School Football, the 2023 edition of the IHSAA State tournament kicked off at Bengal Memorial Stadium with a loaded Sectional 28. This sectional featured 5 teams ranked in the top 10 in 3A, 4 teams entering with perfect 9-0 records, and the defending state champions and current #1 ranked team awaiting the winner(assuming they handled their own business against co-#3 Tippy Valley, they did 40-7).

This game proved to be the only closely contested game in round one as no other game in the sectional was within 25 points. #5 Hamilton Heights knocked off Oak Hill by 25, Chatard by 33, and Maconaquah knocked old MIC and new TRC(2024) foe Northwestern out 55-13.

The Golden Eagles won the toss and differed their choice to the 2nd half, so the Tigers elected to receive.

The Tigers shot out of the gate quickly with Junior Tanner Boggs scampering 79 yards to score on the second play from scrimmage. Junior Landen Crowe missed the point after.

Guerin Catholic answered back 3 plays later with a 53-yard run of their own. Junior Brantlee Edwards blocked the point after. This knotted the score up at 6 all.

Peru’s next possession was a lengthy 13-play drive that stalled out and they were forced to punt. GC was then forced to punt after their own 5 play drive.

Peru again went for 12 plays but this drive stalled around the GC 35-yard line and they were forced to punt again. GC also ran a 13-play drive of their own with a fake punt in the middle but they turned the ball over on downs at the Tiger 33. This set up what would be the most critical point in the ball game.

Peru had a miscue on their next play and fumbled the ball back to GC, who cashed in 1 play later with a 30 pass for a score and a converted PAT to give the Golden Eagles a 13-6 lead.

The ensuing kickoff rolled out of bounds but the GC defense held the Tigers to a 3 and out and forced them to punt. The punt wasn’t a great one and the Eagles had great field position. Which they wasted no time in converting to points again 3 plays later with a 25-yard pass and again converted the PAT. Pushing the lead up 20-6.

Peru ran 9 more plays and gained 21 yards to end the first half.

GC started the second half with the ball, their drive stalled after 10 plays and they were forced to punt. Again their defense held strong forcing Peru to punt after an ensuing 3 and out.

Guerin Catholic took over in plus yardage on the Peru 43. 3 plays later, the Tigers’ defense came alive with Senior Griffin Wouster knocking the ball loose and Senior Brady Hahn pounced on it to secure the turnover.

The Tigers’ offense fed off the sudden jolt of momentum and scored 2 plays later when Senior Matthew Roettger linked up with Senior Braxton Strong for a 49-yard pitch and catch for a touchdown. Senior Hayden Oldaker converted the PAT to close the game 20-13.

The teams both went 3 and out and traded punts with each defense holding their ground. GC’s next drive traversed 28 yards, spanning the end of the 3rd quarter, and ended with a missed Field Goal.

Again both defenses held each other to a 3 and out and a punt. Peru trying to mount a comeback, went 3 plays and ended with an intercepted pass. The Golden Eagles then went 6 plays and added their final score of the night with an 8-yard run and a converted PAT, pushing the lead back up to 27-13.

The Tigers however wouldn’t go quietly into the night, they just don’t have any quit in them. They promptly marched 78 yards on 12 plays capped off by a Roettger 1-yard run. Crowe’s PAT was blocked, this cut the lead to 27-19.

Senior Fox Huppenthal, back from a few weeks off with an injury, made a beautiful onside kick attempt that pinballed around a few GC players before several players from both teams piled up on the ball. Once the referees had untangled all the bodies, it was determined that GC was holding the ball at the bottom of the pile.

GC was able to force Peru to use their last time out and attain the solo first down they needed, so on play number 4 they lined up in victory formation and took a knee to end the game with the final score reading GC 27 and Peru 19.

In what was determined to be the final game for the Seniors’ careers as a Tiger and the final game played at the current iteration of Bengal Memorial Stadium, these Peru Tigers never wavered and never quit. They gave the pack house lots to cheer for all season.

We thank all the Seniors for their hard work, sacrifice, leadership, dedication, and determination to the Tiger program. They will be missed. They finished their careers with a 27-13 record, 1 sectional championship game appearance, a TRC crown, and a perfect 9-0 regular season record in 2023.

The loss brings the season to a close at 9-1. The best record since the late ’60s and the first undefeated regular season since the late ’30s.

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