It was only fitting that a game pitting two undefeated teams against each other would have a little extra drama.
After trailing Clyde 14-13 at the half, Perkins scored a quick touchdown in the third quarter to take its first lead, but immediately following the score, the game was stopped for a 30-minute lightening delay.
The waiting had only begun.
The officiating crew let the teams back on the field around 9:05 p.m. with kickoff schedule for 9:15, but as the Fliers and Pirates were nearing the end of the warmup period, the stadium went completely dark and all power was lost, and looked to be out for the surrounding neighborhoods.
It took another 30 minutes to get back up and running, but once it did, Perkins left no doubt, and scored two more touchdowns to top Clyde 34-14 Friday night at Bob Bishop Stadium.
“I wasn’t nervous, I really wasn't,” Perkins coach Jason Ziegler said of the game delay. “I wasn't worried because I know the kind of kids we have and the kind of leaders we have. Sure enough, we come out and we are ready to go and the lights turn off for another 30 minutes.
“Our kids just kept their focus,” he added. “They knew what they wanted to do. I'm just proud of them right now. Adversity strikes and they continue to do what they do.”
Prior to the lightening, Perkins senior Dale Irby intercepted Clyde's Tim Hoppe on the 35-yard line three plays into the second half. Irby touched the ball four times on the ensuing 10-play drive, including the final one, a 7-yard touchdown pass from David Doster that gave the Pirates their first lead of the game at 19-14, following the failed 2-point conversion.
Clyde went three-and-out when the game picked up with 7:09 left in the third quarter and the Pirates put together another impressive drive on their next possession, this time an 8-play drive that took 3:16 off the clock.
After Irby broke loose for a 39-yard run that put the Pirates on the Flier 24, John Workman rushed for another six yards. He touched the ball two more times on the drive and ran in a 2-yard score with 2:27 left in the third quarter.
Doster then hit Kyle Lewis in the right corner of the end zone for two extra points. “I can't say enough good things about John Workman,” Ziegler said. “I've said it before and I'll say it again, he is a horse. He is throwback football player. He runs the ball hard, he blocks hard, He tackles with aggression. He's just an all-around great football player.”
Workman broke loose up the middle near the end of the fourth quarter for another Pirate TD, this time an 11-yarder. “He probably doesn't get enough recognition because we have some players that make big plays, but you watch John run a 4-yard run and you'l see that he punishes people,” Ziegler said. “At times as a coach you enjoy seeing that a little bit more than seeing a long fantastic run.”
The Pirates ran away with it in the second half, but in the first 24 minutes, Clyde looked in control.
Hoppe hit Blake Miller with a 10-yard pass with three minutes off the clock in the first quarter to put the Fliers on the board first.
Perkins tied it up at the beginning of the second with a 44-yard pass from Doster to Irby. The Fliers had an immediate answer.
Hoppe connected with Miller again, topping off a 6-play drive. Hoppe hit Miller at the 30-yard line and Miller ran in the 64-yard score.
Doster hit Irby on the next drive, capping off an 11-play drive with a 22-yard TD pass. The PAT was no good and the Fliers took a 14-13 lead into the half.
“You've got to give them credit, they played really really well and made plays,” Clyde coach Ryan Carter said of Perkins. “We had some things that caught up with us tonight. In past games we've been able to overcome some of the turnovers, some of the penalties. Tonight, against a very good team we weren't able to do that. They made more plays than we did tonight.”
The Fliers, who lost 114 yards on seven penalties, were able to limit the Pirates' ground game in the first half, but Carter said it wasn't enough to overcome an experienced Perkins offense.
“We were in position a number of times, their guys just went up and plays over top of us,” Carter said. “It's one of those things where sometimes you are in the right spot and they still make a play and there's nothing you can really do about that.”
The Fliers found the red zone three times in the second half. With under three minutes left in the fourth quarter, they got the ball in the end zone, but fumbled and the Pirates recovered for a touchback.
“They are well coached and they pay hard,” Ziegler said of Clyde. “That's the most physical football team we've played all year. That was a dog fight. It was really a battle and I think people got their money's worth. I am proud of the way our kids fought. We're going to be sore (today), they're going to be sore (today). I just know our kids right now are happy with what we got.”