The Perkins football team looked the part again.
The Pirates have established an identity of a physical running team out of the Wing-T on offense, which in turn has allowed them to win 14 of their last 16 games entering Friday's Sandusky Bay Conference showdown with visiting Huron.
It was again nothing different, as the state-ranked Pirates ran the ball 55 times for 306 yards, highlighted by scoring drives of 15 and 10 plays that took more than 11 minutes of clock en route to a 28-14 win over the Tigers.
Perkins — ranked No. 12 in the Division III Associated Press poll — improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the SBC, while Huron fell to 3-2, 1-1.
John Workman ran the ball 19 times for 80 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Pirate attack, while quarterback David Doster ran 14 times for 115 yards.
Watch the first half in the player below
“I thought our offensive line did a good job, John Workman ran the ball real hard along with Trey Moore,” Perkins coach Jason Ziegler said. “Huron did a good job on Dale (Irby). He hit a big one with the punt return, but they did a nice job on him. But that also opened up some other guys. “We still made some stupid mistakes, and I'm very disappointed in that,” Ziegler added. “We're going to have to get better this week ahead going to Clyde and playing a great team.”
Huron appeared to set an early tone with a methodical drive, using 15 plays to move inside the Perkins 10-yard line, highlighted by two third down conversions and a fourth down conversion. But the Tigers came away with no points as Perkins was able to block a 24-yard field goal attempt.
Perkins then took the ball and marched 86 yards in 14 plays, using 6:58 of the clock in the process. The big play of the drive was Doster finding Kyle Lewis in the flat on a third-and-11 at the Huron 47, as Lewis made a move and turned it into a 31-yard gain. Doster scored from a yard out four plays later and Matt Cremean's first of four PATs made it 7-0 with 11:23 left in the half.
Sloppy play highlighted the rest of the half for both teams, as well as one of the more bizarre situations ever seen on a high school football field.
After a penalty wiped out a lengthy pass gain from Doster to Irby, the QB dropped back to pass on a third-and-11 at the Huron 29. Irby slipped past the Huron secondary and had his defender beat by about 10 yards, but was denied what looked like was going to be a fairly simple touchdown catch when the back judge official collided with Irby, resulting in an incomplete pass and fourth down.
Each team then traded turnovers, and Huron ran out of time with the ball at the Perkins 23 in the closing seconds of the half, with the score remaining 7-0 in favor of the Pirates.
But the Pirates stepped on the gas early in the third quarter, taking the opening possession of the second half and march 62 yards in 10 plays while taking 4:34 of the clock. TreyVon Moore scored on a 3-yard TD run after Doster scrambled 26 yards on a third-and-7 at the Huron 28.
Watch the second half in the player below
That made it 14-0 with 7:18 left in the third, and after a quick three-and-out by the Tigers, Irby found a seam and returned the ensuing punt 67 yards to the Huron 5. Two plays later, Workman had a 1-yard TD run and the Pirates had a 21-0 lead with 4:44 left in the third.
Two possessions later, Doster was intercepted at the Pirate 29 by Tommy Bodgen, and Huron quarterback Cody Thompson got loose three plays later for a 19-yard TD run, and the Tigers were back in it down 21-7 with 1:19 left in the third.
Perkins had the answer midway through the fourth, however, as they took over at the Huron 44 after winning a field position battle on defense. The Pirates moved quickly, scoring in five plays as Workman bulled in from 7 yards out with 6:33 left for a 28-7 lead.
Huron put together a 9-play, 85-yard drive to close out the scoring with 3:05 left as Thompson hit Bogden in the left flat for a 7-yard TD pass that made it 28-14.
Thompson, a Toledo recruit, finished with 119 yards rushing on 20 attempts and was 12-of-22 passing for 105 yards.
“I knew Cody would challenge the integrity of our defense,” Ziegler said. “Our defensive coaches came up with a great scheme that was fair and reasonable and our kids did a nice job of executing it.”
Huron coach Tony Legando said it was hard for his team to establish any consistency in all areas. “And that's because that's a very good team,” he said of Perkins. “It was hard to get some type of continuity going. That's their M.O., they run that Wing-T offense very well and try and keep the ball away from you, that's a good game plan, and they were able to pull it off. They did a great job.”
Some emotions boiled over from both sides late, with some personal fouls making for some frustration. “There is a lot of pride from both programs,” Legando said.
Said Ziegler, “I was a little disappointed at the end. There was a lot of chirping on both sides, but in a big game, that kind of stuff happens. It's unfortunate, but our kids have to step up and not retaliate. Luckily no one got hurt.
“This was a good battle with Huron,” he added. “It was a fight. I'm just glad to come out on top, that's a good program over there. I'm happy with the outcome and how our defense played.”
Meanwhile, Legando was pleased with the way his team stuck with it and kept the Pirates from completely blowing it open.
“Certainly disappointed in the score, but not in the way our kids stayed with it,” he said. “Coaches say it all the time, but I am proud of our effort tonight. We shot ourselves in the foot when we did get a little bit of a rhythm going, but their athleticism takes you out of that rhythm. You can talk schemes all you want, but sometimes it's just that athletic ability, and hats off to them because they played it well.”
Perkins visits No. 7-ranked Clyde next week, which plays at St. Mary Central Catholic tonight. Huron will host Oak Harbor (3-2, 2-0).
“You have good times and tough times, and you'll be challenged as leaders and you'll be challenged in the way you stick together,” Legando said of what he told his team afterwards Friday. “I'm thankful we have good leadership and I'm thankful we have good team chemistry and coaches that believe in the kids who will continue to work hard.”