It was an emotional night from start to finish for both teams on Friday night, as Perry narrowly edged its way past Red Mountain in a, 68-67, four-overtime win.
“Hats off to those guys,” Perry Head Coach Preston Jones said. “We’re a yard better than them tonight.”
It all came down to the last snap of the game.
Red Mountain attempted a two-point conversion that would have won the Mountain Lions the game. But Perry’s defense stepped up to the challenge and stopped Red Mountain inches short of the goal line to secure the win.
“I just told them they’ve got a lot to be proud of, that’s a two or three year in-a-row state semi-final team that we took all the way to the ropes and gave them a chance to win it at the end,” Red Mountain coach Mike Peterson said. “We were four inches down there from winning that game.”
While a tough loss for the Mountain Lions to swallow, it was a game Peterson believes they will use as motivation to continue growing and progressing as a team.
It was a close game throughout the night with explosive plays on offense from both teams. Both Perry quarterback Chubba Purdy and Red Mountain quarterback Hyrum Boren continuously took shots down field and were able to move the ball up and down the field.
“It just feels amazing to win this game for how much time and effort we put in in practice every day,” Purdy said. “The whole team fought, we put our hearts into it and we came out on top.”
Purdy found a rhythm with Perry tight end Broc Lane throughout the night, as the two connected on multiple passes, including the game-winner in the fourth overtime.
“Our offense came together at the end and our defense was clutch,” Lane said. “Our offense really gained a lot of confidence this week after the Mountain View win and came together and balled out.”
Despite the win, Jones admits there is still plenty to fix heading into next week.
Perry had problems with its special teams unit throughout the game. The Pumas also found themselves in trouble with penalties that could have been costly.
Jones and the rest of the coaching staff and players recognize the importance of fixing mental mistakes such as those if they want to continue contending for a state title.
“They’re a great football team, but we didn’t get stopped by Red Mountain tonight on offense,” Jones said. “Perry, we stopped ourselves. We’re going to have to stop making those mental mistakes so we don’t have games like this, and we’ve gotta get better in that category.
“Penalties have been a problem the first two weeks and they got a little better tonight, but they’re still nowhere near where they need to be.”
Aside from the emotion brought along by a game that went into four overtime periods, there was even more added emotion for Jones, who played at Red Mountain under his father, Jim, who coached the Mountain Lions for more than 20 years.
“You know, before the game, walking through the hallways and through the locker room they’ve got a bunch of shrines and stuff, they’ve got my dad in there, pictures of my dad and stuff about him,” Jones said. “It was emotional, because this is where I went to school, we opened the school, my dad was here for 20 something years, I know so many teachers and administrators, it’s a little bit of an emotional time.
“It was special, and to have it go like this was crazy.”
Perry (2-1) will look to use this emotional victory as motivation heading into next week’s contest at home against Sandra Day O’Connor (1-2). Meanwhile, Red Mountain (2-1) will host district-rival Dobson (1-2).
Perry 6 12 14 7 7 8 7 7 -- 68
RM 7 8 6 18 7 8 7 6 -- 67
PERRY – Chubba Purdy 4-yard run 6:49
RM – Hyrum Boren 12 yards to Ramses Rivera (Gardner kick) 1:22
PERRY – Purdy 11 yards to Broc Lane 10:56
PERRY –Purdy 36 yards to Cade Veach 5:00
RM – Boren 21 yards to Rivera (2-point conversion Jared Wilson) 0:28
PERRY – Purdy 56 yards to Cade Berger (Kyler McCarthy kick) 9:58
RM – Deonce Elliott 4-yard run (Gardner kick) 3:37
PERRY – Purdy 11 yards to Jorden Young (McCarthy kick) 2:20
RM – Deonce Elliott 11-yard run (2-point conversion George Ramirez) 10:50
PERRY – Purdy 3-yard run (McCarthy kick) 6:30
RM – Boren 10-yard run (Gardner kick) 5:00
RM – Gardner field goal :29
RM – Boren 10-yard run (Gardner kick)
Perry – Purdy 10-yard run (McCarthy kick)
PERRY – Purdy 10-yard run (2-point conversion Purdy)
RM – Boren 5-yard run (2-point conversion Rivera)
RM – Boren 10 yards to Wilson (Gardner kick)
PERRY – Purdy 1-yard run (McCarthy kick)
PERRY – Purdy 10-yards to Lane (Gardner kick)
RM – Boren 1-yard run