Perry versus Ray sounds like a boxing match but actually served as a coming-out party as 4A Gilbert Perry traveled to Kearny to win its first game of varsity competition Friday 26-6 over the 2A Bearcats.
The Pumas scored the first three times they had the ball, beginning with an 11-play drive capped by Alexander McKean passing to Chase Richardson from 1 yard out.
“He’s my tight end, and I trust him,” McKean said. “I’d throw to him on any route.”
McKean, one of the few junior starters on the sophomore-laden team, transferred from Chandler Hamilton.
“I wouldn’t have started until I was a senior, and that would have been edgy.”
Coach Preston Jones welcomed McKean after last year’s starter, Joe Kenn, left with his father for Louisville after the senior Kenn left Arizona State University.
“He came to us after Christmas,” Jones said, “so he was with us the entire offseason.”
Perry played a freshman/junior-varsity schedule last season.
Perry dominated the first half with four touchdowns to none.
The Pumas stayed on the ground for two scores. Sophomore Mansel Simmons broke a 40-yard touchdown run on an end around on a scoring drive keyed by a 28-yard pass from McKean to Richardson.
Sophomore Tauren Darnell, who had 77 yards on seven carries in the first half, finished the next drive with a 19-yard scamper.
Ray stopped the next Perry possession and drove inside the Puma 10 before Andrew Jiminez picked off Craig Cook at the 2.
Perry put together a 12-play drive from there, with dive back Matt Knowlton opening up the middle three times before McKean connected with Richardson for 58 yards. McKean connected with Drake Davis for the two-point conversion and 26-0 lead.
“It was exciting to get the win, but we have a lot of work left to do,” Jones said.