GRIMES — DC-G’s Nathan Brown scored four rushing touchdowns in slightly less than 13 minutes in the second half to undo what was a stout effort from the Perry defense as the host Mustangs posted a 31-0 victory Friday.
Perry (2-3, 0-3) held DC-G (4-1, 3-0) to just a 32-yard field goal in the first half and trailed only 3-0 at the half, but a turnover and a missed golden opportunity to fall on a fumble helped generate three Brown touchdown runs in the third quarter as the Mustangs bolted to a 24-0 lead. Brown tacked on 35-yard TD run up the middle of an exhausted Perry defensive unit in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
The Bluejay offense looked sharp at times but simply could not mount any kind of a sustained drive in suffering their second consecutive shutout. That forced the defense onto the field repeatedly, eventually resulting in a team simply worn down, as most Perry players are forced to play on both sides of the ball while larger teams, like DC-G and Boone, can platoon players.
DC-G did just enough offensively over the first quarter and into the second that the hosts eventually won the battle for field position, leading to the first serious scoring threat by the Mustangs.
The hosts had a first-and-goal at the Perry nine-yard line in the second frame, with a pair of runs moving the ball to the five. On third down DC-G quarterback Damon Clapper dropped back to pass but was sacked for a loss of 10 yards by blitzing linebacker Mark Campos, who led Perry with 10 tackles.
That forced the hosts to settle for a 32-yard Ben Fisher field goal and a 3-0 lead with 8:12 to play in the half.
Perry followed up with a strong drive, gaining four, five and six yards at a clip with a mixture of Donald Chavez carries and short passes from Alexis Garrido, who took every snap at quarterback for a dinged-up Adan Medina (who played mainly at linebacker save for a few late runs).
The Bluejays chewed up nearly six minutes of clock and had the Mustang defense on its heels, but an incomplete pass and a penalty put the guests in a down-and-distance situation they could not overcome and which resulted in coming up short on fourth down. DC-G then ran out the clock to complete the first half with a 3-0 lead.
Perry received the ball to start the second half but went nowhere, with Brown eventually dashing in from eight yards out with 8:53 on the third quarter clock. The first of four PAT boots from Austin James gave the home team a 10-0 lead.
Rowan Collins came up with a huge play for DC-G on Perry’s next possession by intercepting Garrido near the 40-yard line and returning the ball to the Bluejay two yard line, from where Brown dove across on the next snap for a 17-0 Mustang lead.
The hosts were marching again later in the period and faced a third-and-eight when Medina blindsided Clapper, jarring the ball loose and toward the line of scrimmage. Several players from both teams — clearly thinking the play had been ruled a pass — watched as the ball bounced forward more than 10 yards before a Mustang fell on the pigskin.
The recovery maintained possession and set up a fourth-and-two, which the Mustangs converted. Brown scored moments later to give the hosts a 24-0 gap entering the fourth quarter.
The missed opportunity and resulting score deflated the Perry squad, with Brown running untouched straight up the middle of the Bluejay defense with 8:08 to play to provide the final scoring.
Brown finished with 154 yards and four TDs on 25 carries, with the team running 40 times for 176 yards. Clapper was 6-of-14 for 63 yards through the air, with Tanner Epple (3-33), Trey Washington (2-19) and Brown (1-11) making the receptions.
Ryne Dunphy and Garrett Skalnik each recovered a fumble, with Trent Carpenter (10.5) and Tyler Cooney (6.5) the leading tacklers for a unit that had one sack and eight tackles for a loss.
Garrido was 10-26-1 for 62 yards in his first start for Perry. Brandon Kenyon (3-22) and Brandon Juarez (2-22) led the Perry receivers, with Chavez (1-9), Janier Puente (1-8) and Reece Dunlap (3-1) also making receptions.
Chavez finished with 59 yards on 20 carries for the Jays, with Dunlap gaining 36 yards on four rushes. Medina stepped in at tailback for an injured Chavez and carried six times for four yards, with Garrido running four times for a loss of a yard as Perry totaled 98 yards on 34 attempts.
Campos had a sack and a tackle for loss in his 10 stops, with Juarez and Conner Kenyon each making 5.5 tackles.
Perry will host Gilbert for Homecoming Friday. The Jays will complete their season with trips to Webster City and Greene County before an Oct. 21 visit from Iowa Falls-Alden.