Basha used a steady passing attack and a stout defense to rout Perry 49-0 Friday night.
The Battle for Val Vista quickly turned into a showcase for Basha quarterback Zach Werlinger and the Bears defense. Werlinger completed 14 of 16 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns. He marched the Basha offense up and down the field to the tune of 433 total yards. On the Bears' opening drive, the senior signal caller went 4 for 4 for 45 yards and capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Joe Storm.
“I think Zach is fantastic - he’s a great leader,” said Basha coach Bernie Busken. “Somebody is going to take him in college and they are going to understand. He’s unbelievable.”
The scoring slowed after the opening drive by Basha. Perry went three-and-out and turned the ball over twice on its first three offensive possessions. After intercepting a Werlinger pass and starting inside Basha territory, the Pumas fumbled inside the Bears 5-yard line.
Two plays later, Basha junior wide receiver Doc O’Connor took a fly sweep 87 yards for a touchdown to put the Bears up 14-0. Basha scored once more in the first half, on a Rajhan Meriwether 1-yard touchdown run, to take a 21-0 lead into the break.
Perry’s third turnover of the night came when quarterback Alec Monte had the ball slip out of his hand on a pass attempt on the Pumas' first drive of the second half. The officials ruled the play a fumble, and Basha took over on the Perry 17. Werlinger used his legs this time to find the end zone, scampering in from 4 yards out to put Basha up 28-0. Werlinger’s final act came midway through the third quarter when he found O’Connor on a 70-yard touchdown pass to put Basha on top 35-0.
Perry (2-4) had a head time getting anything going offensively, as the Pumas finished with 237 yards of offense and four turnovers. Basha held Pumas to just 77 yards rushing.
The Bears (4-2) added a Jake Carlin interception return and a Cody Conrad 1-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter to wrap up the win.
Busken and his Bears knew the importance of this game coming off a loss to Westview, and with the big win, Basha was able to gain some momentum heading into next week’s showdown with suddenly slumping Hamilton.
“They’re all big. We play seven of the top teams,” said Busken. “We played the third-ranked team in Nevada, we played one of the top two teams in the classification below us, so we are playing a tough schedule, so we just have to suck it up and go.”
Basha 49, Perry 0
First Downs: Basha 15, Perry 16
Rushing: Basha 28-245, Perry 40-77
Passsing: Basha 14-16-188-2-1, Perry 13-22-160-0-2
Fumbles-Lost: Basha 1-1, Perry 2-2
Penalties: Basha 3-23, Perry 4-40
Basha 6 15 28 0 - 49
Perry 0 0 0 0 - 0
Basha: Storm 11 yards from Werlinger (PAT failed)
Basha: O’Connor 87 run (2-point conversion)
Basha: Meriwether 1 run (Thompson kick)
Basha: Werlinger 4 run (Thompson kick)
Basha: O’Connor 70 pass from Werlinger (Thompson kick)
Basha: Carlin 42 yard INT return (Thompson kick)
Basha: Conrad 1 run (Thompson kick)