LAST MEETING — The Perry defense was embarrassed by IF-A senior Logan Ward, who ran 33 times for 347 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-20 Cadet win at Dewey Field. The guests ran for a stunning 491 yards and passed for 68, and while Perry threw for 118 yards and rushed for 163, the Bluejays simply could not keep pace. Tailback Mark Campos (10-86, 2 TDs) had a good night for Perry, with German Alvarenga booting two field goals.
ABOUT THE BLUEJAYS — Perry will be playing for a fourth win, something not achieved since the 2013 season. The Bluejays are coming off an emotional 17-14 overtime win against Greene County in the 86th Cowbell Game. Iowa Falls-Alden lost, at home, to Greene County by a 61-21 final and fell, 49-20, at Gilbert, where Perry won, 31-27.
Senior quarterback Alexis Garrido is 80-173-8 through the air. His 10 touchdowns are one short of Will Whiton’s 11 aerial scores in 2013 for the highest total in 12 years, and his 1,083 yards are already the most during that stretch.
Brandon Kenyon (36-541, 5 TDs) and Reece Dunlap (33-471, 4 TDs) are score-at-any-time targets, as is a dangerous but little used Kaleb Olejniczak (4-60, 1 TD).
While the ground game has produced only 739 yards, that is more than the total from last season. Campos (48-246, 1 TD), Garrido (82-242, 2 TD) and Dunlap (33-204, 1 TD) have led the ground attack.
Olejniczak (62.5) and Mana Martinez (59) are the leading tacklers for a defense that has intercepted nine passes and recovered eight fumbles.
Alvarenga is 17-of-17 on PAT kicks and 4-of-4 on field goals. He is fourth in Class 4A in average yards per punt among those with at least 20 attempts with a 38.3 yard clip.
ABOUT THE CADETS — IF-A was permitted to play a “week zero” game, thus creating a 10-game schedule. The lone win on the slate is a 38-26 win at Hampton-Dumont Aug. 25. The fell at No. 7 Webster City, 62-6, last week.
Quarterback Tyjon Rose is the critical element in the Cadet offense. While reserve Tom Quinlan is 12-29-6 for 83 yards and a score, Rose is 58-108-5 for 943 yards and nine TDs.
Luke Rubow (30-392, 3 TDs) is the chief target, with Devin Sheridan (10-324, 4 TDs) and Brady Janssen (9-212, 2 TDs) also playing roles in the aerial attack.
Rose is the leading rusher, having scored twice on 70 carries for 319 yards. Kyle Hadwiger (78-290, 3 TDs), Lucas Haverkamp (94-250) and Cayden Howland (30-94, 1 TD) have seen the great bulk of the hand-off chores.
Hadwiger’s 49 tackles and 38.5 from Sheridan lead a defense that has forced only two interceptions and five lost fumbles through nine games.
As noted, all statistics are from nine games.
OUTLOOK — Perry co-head coach Matt Hardy is an Iowa Falls native and would love nothing better than to see his team prevail against his alma mater, especially after last season’s finale.
If Perry’s offensive line can give Garrido time he should be able to pick apart the IF-A secondary, while the Bluejay defensive backfield will be the best the Cadets have seen this season.
Campos ran well against the Cadets last season and will be itching to break loose in his final prep game, and with Kenyon and Dunlap likely facing mismatches, the win is there for Perry to take, provided they do not turn over the ball and avoid silly penalties — issues that has hurt the team all season.
(End regular season)
Perry at Iowa Falls-Alden
Ballard at Greene County
No. 4 Dallas Center-Grimes at Gilbert
No. 7 Webster City at Boone