“A rolling stone gathers moss.” That saying could perfectly describe the Perryville Pirates football team on Friday night. One thing after another went wrong for Perryville in the first half and it led to a 19-6 loss to Red Bud, Ill. at Pirates Stadium.
“Everything snowballed on us,” Perryville coach Brent Roth said. “Everything started with the big play and from there we couldn’t catch our footing. ”
The “big play” happened just 20 seconds into the game when wide receiver Evan Dressel hauled in a 73-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Easton Lucht to give the Musketeers a 7-0 lead.
Lucht went 7-11 passing for 141 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Musketeers managed 196 total yards on the day, despite more than 70 on the first play.
“Coach Mueller called a great defensive game,” Roth said. “Some of that blame has to go to me because I didn’t call a good enough game to put some points on the board.”
Things got worse for Perryville as they tried to gain some momentum later in the quarter, but they were stopped on a 4th and 2 play from their own 28 yard line. Red Bud scored a few plays later put Perryville in a 13-0 deficit.
It not only was bad at that point on the scoreboard, but it soon got even worse on the next Perryville offensive drive. Davin Wheeler left the game with a leg injury with 3:30 left in the quarter that will put the junior lineman on the shelf for at least several weeks.
“That’s a big loss for us, it’s definitely going to hurt,” Roth said,
Wheeler was injured during the game, which put a strain on an already depleted line with starters Sam Camarillo and Jacob Lyerla out with injuries before the opening kickoff. Several different linemen also left the game for various reasons as well.
“I was about out of linemen,” Roth said. “There were some other people we could have put in there, but no one that had reps during the week.”
Perryville finally had some good fortune when Ben Hotop intercepted a tipped pass at the Pirate 11 yard line, but the offense couldn’t manage any yards and were forced to punt out of the endzone. The kick however, didn’t travel more than 20 yards as the Musketeers started inside the redzone and converted the mistake for six points on a three-yard run by running back Devin Hall.
Perryville looked as if they may score on two separate drives before halftime, but fumbled just outside the redzone. Tyler Rhyne had an interception at midfield, but the drive was ended with a Red Bud interception.
“I really don’t think Red Bud stopped our offense,’ Roth said. “We made some mistake by putting the ball on the ground. Some of the mistakes were me as well. We stopped ourselves too many times offensively.”
Perryville made one more mistake in the second half with a fumble on a promising drive into Red Bud territory.
The Pirates mustered a touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Hotop caught a short pass and went 72 yards down to the Red Bud 10. The Pirates cashed in on this opportunity with a 10-yard pass to Justin Wingerter to narrow the deficit to 19-6 with 4:11 left in the game.
McGarvey finished the game with 116 yards passing, while Hotop had 93 total yards.
“That was a relief,” Roth said. “We would have hated to look at the scoreboard and see a zero on there,” Roth said. “Especially when it’s my offense that I’ve worked on for years. A zero would not have been nice.”
Perryville had just a few days to prepare for the game as their original week 1 opponent St. Clair was unable to compete due to COVID-19 within the program. Perryville scheduled Red Bud on Tuesday evening.
“We were game planning on the fly,” Roth said. “I’m not going to say it hurt us, but it will be nice to have a full week scouting somebody.”
Perryville will play Windsor at home this Friday at 7 p.m. Windsor defeated Herculaneum 15-12 in week 1. Roth is not overlooking anyone right now.
“It looks like a game that we have a chance to win,” Roth said. “However, until we prove that we can beat somebody we are a winnable opponent for other teams. We have to be ready from the start.”