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Commodores cruise by Wolfpack, 40-7


September 14, 2011
The Perry Central Commodores struggled in their first two games of the season, but they scored early and often to win 40-7 in a Labor Day weekend road trip to Patoka Lake Athletic Conference rival Crawford County.

"We competed," Crawford County coach Alan Hess said. "Last week (against Paoli), we got a little lackadaisical and we kind of laid down a little bit. I challenged them this week, and they lived up to it. They played hard. They fought. We got beat by a better team tonight."

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Crawford County’s B.J. Mahoney finds himself upended by Perry Central’s Chase McAllister in the second half of the Commodores’ 40-7 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"You've got to recognize the caliber of people that you're playing and get them to understand that day by day we are making strides," Perry Central coach Mike Spencer said. "Sometimes it takes getting in a situation like this where to kind of show that and really see it."

Perry Central put three touchdowns on the board in the first quarter. Justin Hagan scored with 9:49 in the first on a 10-yard run. After Crawford County gave up the ball on fourth-and-6, the Commodores ran seven plays to score a second time, Hagan again getting the call from two yards out. Following a missed extra-point kick attempt, Perry Central led 20-0. The third TD came with 2:33 to go in the quarter when Hagan scored again. This time the kick was good and Perry Central led 20-0.

"Early, we made no mistakes," Spencer said. "We came off the ball well, blocked well and took the ball down and just repeatedly ran the things that we wanted."

"We've had trouble slowing ground games down for a while now," Hess said. "We've got to wrap up. We've got to play assignment football. We get flustered and we revert back to old things. We're playing hard. We're a young and inexperienced football team, and we make young, inexperienced mistakes."

The Commodores scored again early in the second quarter when Hunter LaGrange ran into the end zone from the 9-yard line. Perry Central missed the extra point but still maintained a 26-0 lead.

Crawford County ran 15 plays on its next possession but failed to score, giving up the ball on downs.

The Commodores ran three plays then fumbled the ball to the Wolfpack with 2:54 left in the half. Crawford County, however, went three-and-out, punting to the Commodores, who took a knee, leaving the halftime score at 26-0.

"I thought, especially early, we controlled the line of scrimmage," Spencer said. "I thought that was going to be the big thing anyway, if we could control the line of scrimmage, we wouldn't have to put the ball in the air."

"We were able to run the ball on a very good run-defense team," Hess said. "That's a positive. The small victories."

Perry Central put seven more points on the board at 8:51 in the third quarter when LaGrange got his second touchdown of the night on a 32-yard run for a 33-0 lead.

Crawford County finally got on the board with 1:30 to go in the quarter when the Wolfpack scored on their seventh play of their next possession. Corey Cain got the call from six yards out and scored six. Justin Carlisle got the extra point, and Crawford County put a dent in the deficit, down 33-7.

Perry Central, however, scored one final time in the first minute of the fourth quarter, getting the 40-7 win.

"This is the third system these kids have played in three years," Hess said. "It's an adjustment."

"We're gradually getting there," Spencer said. "We're playing a little more solidly each week. That's two weeks in a row now that our ground game has just been very good. Defensively, we took a better step tonight. Our coverage was a little better."

Perry Central finished with 498 yards of offense to Crawford County's 163. Hagan carried the ball. 13 times for 175 yards, and LaGrange had 12 runs for 134 yards. The Wolfpack ran the ball 39 times for 154 yards but completed 3 of 12 pass attempts for 9 yards.

"Both kids worked very, very hard," Spencer said of Hagan and LaGrange. "Both of them are returning from last year, but Hunter was our workhorse last year from a blocker standpoint … Hagan has that little burst of speed that he's able to kind of kick in there. He fools you a bit. He hits up in that hole, and he's hitting it pretty good when he makes that cut with acceleration when you reach him."

"Cory (Cain) ran the ball hard," Hess said. "We've been waiting for that all year. He ran extremely hard. The kids got banged up and bruised, and they came right back in. That's a positive."

"B.J. (Mahoney) ran hard," he said. "We're learning how we want to play Wolfpack football. It's very hard running, very physical upfront for four quarters. It's going to take time, but we'll get there."

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