Tre Stevenson

Sam Hutchens/Stillwater News Press

Perkins-Tryon sophomore running back Tre Stevenson runs the ball.

PERKINS – A four-headed monster rampaged Perkins Friday night. 

The Perkins-Tryon Demons defeated the Lone Grove Longhorns 41-7 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs behind the strength of a fierce ground attack. It was a promising start to P-T’s 12th-consecutive postseason appearance. 

Four Demons combined for 256 rushing yards. Sophomore running back Tre Stevenson toted the ball 16 times for 112 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman Braiton Applegate opened scoring with a 47-yard touchdown on P-T’s first drive. Running back Beck Smith returned to play after an injury that kept him out for three games and averaged 5.1 yards a carry. Quarterback Gunnar Thrash even finished with 36 rushing yards. 

“It’s kind of a four-headed monster,” Demons coach Dawayne Hudson said.

The success for the Demons (9-2, 7-1) carrying the ball came because of the unit Hudson leans on the most: the offensive line. 

“That’s where we hang our hat on all year long is those dudes up front, and we got a trio of backs that can run it inside and out and we’ve got fullbacks and tight ends that like to block, too,” Hudson said. 

Stevenson eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season on a 6-yard carry to finish the third quarter. 

“Going into (the game), I forgot about it,” Stevenson said. “But after the game now that I think about it, yeah, I was really excited. It means a lot to me. My line really helped out on that one.”

The line on the PT defensive side of the ball also contributed to the win. Hudson said consistent pressure on Longhorn quarterback Caden Gilmore led to a dominant defensive performance. The Longhorn offense that had previously averaged 35 points a game was held to a single touchdown. 

The Demons forced a season-high six turnovers – two fumbles and four interceptions. The most memorable takeaway was a backpedaling, one-handed interception by junior cornerback Dax Edwards. 

Edwards said he knew he had to use one hand when he saw the pass sailing over his head. 

“(The defense) played pretty well as a whole,” Edwards said. “It was probably the best defensive game we’ve had in a long time.

“We just brought the juice and were fired up. Played hot all game.”

The Demons now set their sights on top-ranked Holland Hall. PT has never played Holland Hall (11-1, 8-1) before, but will prepare to bus to Tulsa next weekend for the heavyweight matchup.

“We got to have another week of good practice, if not better (than last week),” Hudson said. “Yes, we’ll enjoy this for the next little bit, but as a coach, we all got to move on and get ready for our next opponent, Holland Hall.”

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