Perryville football turns aside Fredericktown in OT

Perryville junior Dawson Camden prepares for a play in a recent game in Perryville, Missouri. Camden had two rushing TDs in Friday’s overtime win against Fredericktown, including the game-winner in overtime.
Zach Tate ~ Special to Southeast Missourian

PERRYVILLE, Mo. — The Perryville Pirates overcame key injuries to get back into the win column with a 21-14 overtime win against the Fredericktown Blackcats on Friday night.

The Pirates were without four starters, two on each side of the ball, including their top two backs, Eli Bierk [knee] and Drew Hotop [knee]. Both Bierk and Hotop were out last week in a 14-point loss to Potosi, the Pirates’ first of the season.

Using a “next man up” philosophy from coach Blane Boss, the Pirates spread out the attack on the ground with strong running from quarterback Evan Daugherty, running backs Fernando Bojorquez and Dylan Holt to fill the void from injuries.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight, and that’s why I’m so proud,” Boss said. “You know that’s why it’s so important for those guys to practice when they’re not in the first team.”

Boss preached everyone needed to be ready to play this week in practice.

“I told every player on our varsity, even some of the younger sophomores, you know you got to be ready [to play] because you know at any given point, [one] guy goes down and you’re the next man up,” Boss said.

One of the guys who needed to step up, and did, was wide receiver and defensive back Dawson Camden, who had two rushing touchdowns, went 3-for-3 on extra points, took every punt and kickoff for the Pirates and led the way defensively with open-field tackles and helping to swarm to the ball on every possession.

The game molded itself into a defensive battle from turnovers to a wet field to key penalties on both teams.

Perryville (3-1) struck first with 4 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the half off a 31-yard Camden touchdown run off a sweep play to take a 7-0 lead.

It appeared that lead would hold until half, before a 21-yard touchdown catch by Fredericktown’s Seth Laut with 17.6 seconds to go in the half.

Fredericktown took the lead for the first time with 4:04 seconds to go in the third quarter off a 14-yard touchdown run from Ethan Burrows.

Perryville responded to the challenge, driving down the field with power running from a spread of players. Using a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit against Fredericktown to keep the drive alive, the Pirates rattled off a barrage of runs. Dylan Holt ran up the middle for 14 yards, and then Camden carried for 11 yards to put the Pirates down to the Fredericktown goal line. Daugherty then punched it in himself from 3 yards out to tie the contest at 14-14 with 11:26 to go in the game.

On the first play of overtime, Boss called seemingly the same play that worked for the Pirates first touchdown, a sweep play to Camden going to the right.

Again, Camden found space in the gap and took the ball 25 yards to the end zone to give the Pirates the 21-14 lead.

When asked about going back to the similar play again for the touchdown, Boss chuckled.

“You know if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. We found something in the defense and that’s what they were giving us, and Dawson did a great job carrying the ball for us.”

On the second possession of overtime, following a big run by Malachi Kyle, Fredericktown looked poised to tie the game.

After two positive runs to get the ball to the 4-yard line, the Pirates defense got the crowd into it and stood tall, forcing two incomplete passes for the win.

Perryville travels to cross-town rival St Vincent on Friday.

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