JEFFERSON — The football players in the senior class at Greene County will graduate knowing that only in their freshmen year did the coveted Cowbell Trophy spend a season in Perry’s awards case.
The winless and unheralded Rams (1-7, 1-5) dominated every facet of Friday’s meeting on Linduska Field, blocking two punts, forcing four turnovers and holding the Bluejays (2-6, 0-6) under 100 yards of total offense in storming to a 38-0 victory to run their winning streak in the rivalry to three.
The high schools in the two communities first met on the gridiron in 1898, and since 1928 have been competing for the “Cowbell Trophy” considered the oldest-contended trophy in Iowa. Schools in Jefferson, which have operated under a variety of names, are now 55-28 in the game, which has twice ended in a tie.
Rams quarterback Clint Dennhardt gave the hosts a 6-0 lead just under five minutes into the game with a one-yard sneak. The first of Nick Schroeder’s five PAT kicks put the score at 7-0, where it remained through the first quarter.
The first of two Perry punts that were blocked set up Schroeder’s 28-yard field goal eight seconds into the second quarter moved the score to 10-0, with a six-yard Dennhardt scramble at the 9:24 mark moving the score to 17-0.
Perry went nowhere on offense and was held to 60 total yards through the air while the ground game accounted for just 35 yards on 25 carries (yardage lost to sacks are deducted from running yards high school and college football).
Facing 4th-and-goal from the 4-yard line with 21 seconds left in the half, the Rams opted to go for a touchdown, a move which paid off when Dennhardt rolled right and hit a diving Schroeder in the front corner of the end zone to give the hosts a 24-0 halftime lead.
Perry had two strong defensive stands in the third quarter but simply could not move, or hang on to, the ball. A lost fumble was cashed in immediately, as a double-reverse flea-flicker allowed Dennhardt to find a forgotten Schroeder standing wide open in the back of the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown and a 31-0 lead.
The Rams recovered their third Bluejay fumble in the fourth quarter, with a Trey Tucker 12-yard scamper capping the scoring and setting a continuous clock in motion.
Alexis Garrido was 6-12-1 for 55 yards passing for Perry, with Adan Medina hitting his lone pass for five yards.
Brandon Kenyon had 49 yards on three receptions and Reece Dunlap three yards on three catches while Medina collected one pass for eight yards.
Garrido (12-28) and Medina (8-20) led the Perry rushers, with Mark Campos carrying three times for no yards while Dunlap lost 13 yards on two sweeps.
Campos had 10. 5 tackles to lead the Jay defense, with 4 stops resulting in a loss of yardage. Janier Puente added six stops, including two for a loss and one sack, while Kaleb Olejniczak intercepted one pass, which he returned five yards.
Statistics were unavailable for Greene County, though Tucker was unofficially credited with 104 rushing yards on 22 carries.
Perry will conclude their season Friday at Dewey Field with a visit from Iowa Falls-Alden. The Cadets, who defeated host Greene County, 28-13, earlier this season, were crunched by visiting Webster City, 42-7, last Friday.