Bluejays tame Huskies after striping Tigers to secure RRC title

With consecutive league titles, the Perry seniors finish 26-3 (.897) in four seasons of Raccoon River Conference play.

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Perry's James Crawford and ADM's Noah Bardwell race to the ball Tuesday as Miguel Gonzalez (30 watches for the Bluejays and Eli Schwarzkopf (13) for the Tigers.

A day after winning their second consecutive undefeated and outright Raccoon River Conference title with a 10-0 win over host Carroll the Perry boys found visiting Des Moines Hoover an uncomfortable test

If 11th-ranked Perry (12-2) was looking for a second walk-over in as many days they were in for a rude surprise Friday, as visiting Des Moines Hoover (5-11) tested the Bluejays in a match rescheduled from earlier this season. Although Perry won, 4-1, the victory was not as easy as the final score indicated, Bluejay head coach Gary Overla said.

“Hoover had a ton of speed that we had to deal with,” he explained, “and had they been a little more polished in finishing they may have caused us some serious concerns. We possessed the ball well for as horrible as the weather was, but we certainly had some instances that were uh-oh moments.”

Perry scored on a long ball from Ian Velasco to Jesus Rodriguez, who converted the pass into an assist by finding the back of the net in the fourth minute.

The hosts held a 2-0 halftime lead thanks to a goal from David Cardenas in the 39th minute. Velasco again proved a long assist, as Cardenas was able to run the ball down and score off the counter-attack.

Cardenas scored again in the 49th minute in what has been typical of his type of goal this season — out of a scrum in front of the goal mouth.

“David was able to muscle this ball in,” Overla said. “He caught the goalie out of goal and practically dribbled the ball in — over a Hoover defender.”

The Huskies scored in the 57th minute off a corner kick provided by Fredy Rosario. His boot was attacked in the air by Perry goalie Anthony Aragon, but the Bluejay keeper could not control the ball, and Morris Ding but the ball in the bag to make the score 3-1.

Overla said the final goal came on a bit of artistry from Rodriguez.

“It looked as though this shot was almost physically impossible to make,” the coach explained. “Jesus received a crossing pass from Ivan (Garcia) in the middle of the box with his back to the goal. He then turned and pulled the ball into the net — it was pretty nice.”

“We’d like to thank the fans that came out to support us against Hoover,” Overla added. “It was awfully cold and unpleasant to be sitting in those stands dealing with that wind. Thank you.”

Perry was coming off a 10-0 win at Carroll (2-11, 0-6) Thursday that secured consecutive, undefeated Raccoon River Conference championships. The Bluejays (7-0 in RRC play) have now won six of the last 12 RRC titles.

Rodriguez had three goals and Cardenas and Garcia two apiece while German Alvarenga, Alex Castenada and Ronal Menendez also found the nylon. Cardenas tied the school record for assists in a game with four in the victory.

“All-in-all it was a very good day — everyone got in and we were able to get some good looks at people and get some touches on the ball,” Overla said. “We were able to finish out our second year in a row as undefeated conference champions, so that certainly makes everyone happy.”

Perry will face a busy slate as they conclude their regular season next week. A trip to Cownie Park in Des Moines to face DM Lincoln is set for Tuesday, with a visit to Pella scheduled for Thursday. Perry will then wrap their regular season Friday by hosting Indianola.

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