Turnovers cost Panthers in ugly loss to Rams
— For the second year in a row, the Perryville football team opened its season with a lopsided loss to Edgewood.
The Panthers fell to the visiting Rams 34-7 in nondivisional action Friday.
Perryville couldn’t have gotten off to worse start offensively. Its first possession stalled after just three plays and Edgewood took over at the Panthers’ 19-yard line. Running back Daryl Cooper then scored from 10 yards out for the Rams.
Perryville’s second drive included a pair of first downs, but ended with a fumble that Cooper scooped up and returned 65 yards for an Edgewood touchdown.
The Panthers fumbled again just two plays later, giving the Rams possession at the Perryville 27-yard line with 1:50 to play in the opening quarter. The defense moved Edgewood backwards over the next two plays, setting up a fourth-and-18 to begin the second period. On the first play of the quarter, Rams quarterback Marquez Kimbrough threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 21-0.
The Panthers did not surrender another point until the fourth quarter.
“I liked the way our defense played. For 95 percent of the snaps, I thought we did a really nice job,” Perryville coach Chris Johnson said. “When we get out Oline fixed, I think we can be a really good football team. I think our defense can keep us in pretty much every game.”
Johnson referenced the fourth-down touchdown pass in the second quarter and a 43-yard run to the end zone in the fourth quarter by Derrick Delilly as the only big plays his defense surrendered.
Less than one minute after Delilly’s touchdown, another Panthers’ fumble gave Edgewood possession at the Perryville 10-yard line. It resulted in a 3-yard score by Kimbrough on a quarterback draw.
The Panthers cracked the scoreboard on a 17yard touchdown run by Zac Zacorous with 2:32 remaining.
“I loved the resilience of this team,” Johnson said. “We had some holes to fill, we have very inexperienced kids in the offensive line and we struggled tonight, but they came out in that second half and got a threeand-out, we got the ball and played smash mouth and moved it right down the field.”
Perryville was without two starting offensive lineman, leaving players starting at new positions. Johnson said the varsity experience was crucial for some of the younger players.
“We’ve got to learn from this and take it as a learning experience. Everything that we want is still in front of us,” he said. “We’ll get back together on Monday and watch film and learn from it. We’ll work on getting ready for Wilmington Friends, which is going to be another tough task. They’re a good football team – well-coached, disciplined – they’re not going to beat themselves.”
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Perryville’s Ben Savick, right, pursues Edgewood’s Derrick Delilly, left, during the visiting Rams 34-7 non-divisional football victory Friday.