PERRY TOWNSHIP – The interception.
Perry fans will long remember the pick-six by Martell White, who raced 48 yards after intercepting an Elgin pass with less than one minute left in the game to secure a 28-14 victory over the Comets on Friday night.
Perry, ranked seventh in its region, is almost assured a spot in the playoffs with the win. The victory secured the Commodores a winning record, 6-4, for the first time since 2006.
A Northwest Central Conference title eluded Perry after Lehman defeated Riverside, 45-14. Perry ends NWCC play with a 6-1 mark . Elgin ends the regular season with a 7-3 overall record and 4-3 mark in conference action.
“It is kind of unspeakable,” said Perry coach Luke Taviano, who saw the potential of this team two years ago when he was an assistant coach. “We knew the talent we had coming in, and if we brought some discipline and brought our system in, we knew it would work — discipline and hard work.”
With just over a minute left in the contest, Elgin took over on downs after stuffing Perry at its own 48-yard line on fourth down. On the second play of the drive, Comet quarterback Evan Bakensto looked to the connect on a short pass to Danyal Minton coming out of the backfield.
However, White stepped between quarterback and running back, snatched the ball out of the air and promptly raced 48 yards for the insurance touchdown.
White’s interception highlighted a strong second half defensive effort by the Commodores’ defense that shut out the Comets in the final two periods.
“Our defense has stepped up the entire year,” Taviano said. “We had a couple of blips, and that is football, but they did a fabulous job. That is a heck of running game Elgin has there, and for us to hold them scoreless in the second half was amazing.”
Offensively, Perry running back Shane Overly was the main force behind the Commodores’ scores after the junior tailback rushed for 178 yards on 26 carries with two touchdowns. Overly scored on a 10-yard run in the first half. His second touchdown, in the fourth quarter, gave Perry a 20-14 advantage with 11:49 left in the game.
The Commodores’ other score came in the first half when Perry quarterback Louis Hoersten connected with J.T. Taviano on a 55-yard touchdown pass.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.