By Andrew Glover
PERKINS, Okla. —
Making plays on special teams can create a spark. Friday night the Perkins-Tryon Demons returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to take early momentum en route to a 44-21 victory over the Verdigris Cardinals on homecoming.
“I’m really proud,” P-T coach Lloyd Wertman said. “A lot of kids got to play. ... This was a bounce-back. We didn’t have any letdown and didn’t have many mistakes.”
The Demons Jacob Peyton took the ball on a hop at his own 20 and ran up the sideline for a score. Matt Waitt missed the extra point but P-T held a 6-0 lead with only 17 seconds expired in the game.
“It was a good way to start the game,” Peyton said.
On Perkins next possession, Tyler Taff rushed up the middle for 52 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the Verdigris 7. Shelby Reese finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run and rushed for the two-point conversion to increase Perkins lead to 14-0 with 9:04 left in the half.
Perkins-Tryon wasn’t through with big-yardage plays. Reese completed a 34-yard pass to Waitt to set them up at the Cardinals 11. Taff capped off the drive with a 3-yard run.
After both teams exchanged punts, Peyton broke up a handoff and fell on the ball at the Verdigris 40. The Cardinals looked like they weren’t going to be harmed as they forced P-T into a fourth-down situation. Shelby Reese ran for 24 yards to set up a first-and-goal at the Verdigris 8. Reese capped off the drive with an 8-yard pass to Matt Waitt. Reese hit John Sasser for the two-point conversion to give the Demons a 28-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
P-T rushed for 301 yards for the game. Peyton said there are a lot of playmakers on offense.
“We got a good rotation of running backs,” Peyton said. “We have Reese at quarterback. It’s all there.”
The Demons’ defense didn’t disappoint either as they forced Verdigris into four punts and recovered a fumble. P-T also recorded its second safety of the season when the Cardinals snapped the ball over punter Cody Mullis’ head and Mullis fell on the ball in his own end zone. The only score P-T gave up in the first half was a 41-yard run by Verdigris’ Aaron Vann.
The Cardinals only had 63 yards of total offense. Wertman said his first unit played well.
“The defense stuffed them,” Wertman said. “Against our first team they probably only had five first downs, maybe.”
In the second quarter, the Demons started putting in reserves. Zac Bledsoe took over at quarterback and led a 10-play, 74-yard touchdown drive. On fourth-and-four, Bledsoe connected with Waitt on a 16-yard touchdown. The Demons had 10 different players run the ball.
Going against the Demons’ reserves Verdigris picked up a couple scores. Noble Patterson scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter. Dylan Hight scored on a 15-yard run.
Perkins-Tryon (2-1) will open district play next Friday at Seminole. Wertman said that’s where the real season begins.
“They are well-coached,” Wertman said of his next opponent. “They got Papi (White) back, they got Doc (Harvey) back. They are big physical and fast. We have make sure we do everything we can.”