GRIMES — Perry football experienced one of the most difficult halves of football they have had to endure in many years Friday, with Class 1A No. 1 DC-G the chief reason why.
DC-G (3-0) scored on their first two offensive snaps, recorded a pair of safeties, and held Perry (0-3) to negative 35 yards of offense in waltzing to a 46-0 halftime lead.
The Bluejays entered the game missing starting quarterback Jeremiah Cregeen and starting backs Abraham Ruiz and Jose Flores due to injury. The offensive line was also missing pieces, with others banged up and/or playing a different position.
Against a team as talented as the Mustangs there was no chance for error, and when reserve quarterback Jeremiah Baker went down to an injury Cayden Widen was forced to step into his third different position in three games, further shrinking the margin for mistakes.
Zach Brand raced 52 yards for a score on the first DC-G snap, with Ben Jackson kicking the first of his six PAT boots. Brand scored on a one-yard dive after Perry fumbled the ball away just out of the end zone on their third play after the initial DC-G touchdown.
A poor punt snap that Perry had to fall on in the end zone gave the hosts a safety, with Jacob Hauschen returning the free kick 70 yards for a score, the second time this season such a scenario has played out.
Brand tacked on a nine-yard TD run, and two more points were added when Widen — who spent the game desperately trying to avoid a Mustang defense that poured across the line of scrimmage — was pulled down in the end zone.
Reserve back A.J. Jahangin had TD runs of 20 yards, and of 23 yards, in the second quarter as the score ballooned to 46-0.
Mustang head coach Scott Heitland had long since pulled his starters, with reserves playing most positions from early in the second frame. The second half was played with a pair of 10 minute quarters as opposed to the normal 12-minute spans, and DC-G ran nothing exotic, keeping the score from becoming worse. A fourth-quarter safety — the fifth allowed by Perry in three games — provided the final margin.
Perry head coach Bryce Pierce thanked Heitland for his courtesy after the game, and also addressed the Mustang team, wishing them well and saluting their sportsmanship.
The Bluejays did not attempt a pass and lost 35 yards on 29 rushing plays. Fifteen snaps resulted in a loss of yardage, with six others resulting in no gain as only eight plays gained positive yardage.
Juan Hernandez ran hard in a fill-in role, but could manage just one yard on 10 runs.
Gavin Hegstrom’s seven tackles led the Perry defense. Emmanuel Soto had five tackles, Ben Ramirez 4.5m and Alan Gomez 3.5 stops.
Huston Halverson threw one pass for DC-G, connecting with Luke Busby for 12 yards.
Brand had three TDs and 85 yards on eight rushes, with Jahangin scoring twice on four runs that totaled 50 yards, with Isaac Arbuckle adding 47 yards on 13 carries to lead the Mustang rushers. The hosts finished with 226 yards on 35 hauls.
Josh Hendricks had seven takcles — three behind the line of scrimmage — with Alex Ahens and Gavin Rupp each recovering fumbles to pace the DC-G defense.
Perry will finish a three-game road trip with a visit to Norwalk Friday.