Patience is not normally a characteristic associated with younger people, but Perry first-year coach Jesse Kill — all 25 years of him — is certainly learning it can get results.
On Friday, Kill got his first career victory with a 27-26 victory at Riverside to start the Northwest Central Conference campaign.
“It feels pretty darn good, I was excited but more excited for the kids, seeing how they reacted after the game,” Kill said. “It was good to finally see the work pay off.”
A big part of Kill’s turnaround project — Perry was 2-8 a year ago — has been in implementing his option offense. On Friday, Kill was pleased with the way his team drove the field virtually every time it got the ball. However, the squad routinely tripped itself up with a penalty, a fumble or with players running the wrong play.
“Every time we got in the red zone, we shot ourselves in the foot,” he said.
Still, the team continues to show signs of picking the new offense up.
“Everything is getting better, every single week,” Kill said. “We’re seeing improvements. We run a difficult offense to execute and each week we’re seeing less and less mistakes. Our goal each week is to eliminate those mistakes. We run a lot of option so they’re making a couple different reads every single play. And to do it at full speed isn’t easy, they’ve never ran the option before.”
“There’s a reason behind (running the option). I love the option offense, more importantly than that we have very athletic players. We want to make the defense choose who to tackle.”
Kill has been very pleased with junior running backs Kevin Turner and Quis Woods. Turner ran for 153 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns on Friday. Woods, meanwhile, has moved from being the featured back who ran for 1,000 yards in the pro-style offense Perry ran a year ago to sharing touches with Turner. Kill said Woods has been a major team player, sacrificing yards for more blocking.
Meanwhile, the offense also features a big tight end in 6-foot-6 sophomore Malcolum Glenn. On the offensive and defensive line, Andrew Gipson has been a standout while senior middle linebacker Shaquille Douglas has been averaging about 25 tackles per game.
While Friday’s victory was a shot in the arm, Perry doesn’t get any breaks. On Friday, the Commodores play host to rival Waynesfield-Goshen (2-2, 1-0) in NWCC play.
“Waynesfield-Goshen is a tough team and they’re playing very well,” Kill said. “They’re well-coached and they’re very disciplined so it’s exciting and scary to play a team that good for homecoming. But it’s a rivalry and overall it’s something we’re excited to do. Getting the win (Friday) is a good thing to give us a little more motivation.”
Elida’s offense sizzles
Just how efficient was Elida’s offense Friday in a 43-6 victory over Van Wert? Try no punts, none, zero, nada. The Bulldogs finished with 501 total yards as quarterback Reggie McAdams completed 24-of-34 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns. He found reciever Austin Etzler nine times for 173 yards and four TDs and found Brandon Stinson five times for 91 yards.
Elida’s efficient attack is a good sign considering the team enters the meat of its schedule with three tough weeks ahead. On Friday, the Bulldogs travel to Shawnee before playing host to unbeaten Kenton followed by another home game against Ottawa-Glandorf.
Trouble for the Spartans
Lima Senior running back Keithie Lasenby was injured in Friday’s 47-6 loss to Findlay. He did not see action in the second half and his status was unkown after Friday’s game. Lasenby came into Friday’s game with Findly with 491 rushing yards after three games.
On the other side of the ball, Lima Senior struggled against a tough Findlay offense giving up 484 total yards in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference opener.
Maty being Maty
Four weeks into the season, Kenton senior quarterback Maty Mauk has 18 touchdown passes after throwing five TD passes in a 34-7 win over Shawnee on Friday. Last year, according to the OHSAA record book, he registered the second-most TD passes in the state all time with 69. That is second to brother Ben Mauk who threw 76 in 2002. Entering the season, he was second on the all-time TD passing list with 151, trailing only his brother who had 178 from 1999-2002. So, he now stands at 169 career TDs with his brother’s career mark well within range.
Youth serving notice
Lima Central Catholic’s defense, which has surrendered just 21 points in four games, starts five juniors and three sophomores.
The week ahead
The Western Buckeye League features some fantastic matchups on Friday. Ottawa-Glandorf (4-0, 3-0) travels to take on Kenton (4-0, 3-0). A year ago, the Titans handed the Wildcats their first loss of the year in a 22-20 victory in Ottawa. Also, Elida (3-1, 2-1) travels to renew its rivalry with Shawnee (2-2, 1-2).
And in the NWC, Friday games of note include Spencerville (3-1, 2-1) travels to take on Columbus Grove (3-1, 2-1), Bluffton (2-1, 1-1) is at Ada (3-1, 1-1) while LCC (4-0, 3-0) is at Delphos Jefferson (2-2, 2-1) on Saturday.
(Elida and LCC information provided by Mike Miller, Lima Senior information provided by Mark Altstaetter)