(Peru, Neb.)—Peru State football's furious comeback in the second half was not enough to defeat MidAmerica Nazarene as they lost 21-19. The Bobcats are now 2-3 overall while the Pioneers are 3-2 overall.
Below is a breakdown of how tonight's loss went…
The Bobcats received the ball to start the game but a quick three-and-out had the Bobcats punting early in the game. The Pioneers on their first possession of the game would march down the field as two big pass plays set them up at the one-yard line as they would scamper in for a one-yard score.
Peru State's offense was still trying to find its groove but their drive would stall out around the 50-yard line as they would have to punt. On the Pioneers next drive the Bobcats defense stepped up big as Abe Metelus (Naples, Fla.) intercepted the ball putting the 'Cats in great position to score.
Unfortunately, a five-play drive ended with the Pioneers intercepting the ball back. On the next Bobcat drive Desmond Sams (Mandeville, La.) provided a spark with an 18-yard run. Then a 25-yard pass to Jarrius Anderson (Cordova, Tenn.) from Will Mueller (Springdale, Ark.) put the 'Cats in the red zone.
Mack Boekhout (Elkhorn) would get the Bobcats on the board with three points. Peru State trailed MNU 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Pioneers would go on a 10 play 89-yard scoring drive to make the score 14-3 to open the second quarter.
Stacy Livingston (St. Louis, Mo.) would have a 27-yard run but the Bobcat drive would stall out and a six-yard punt would put the Pioneers in great field position. The Bobcat defense stepped up forcing a three-and-out.
On the next Bobcat possession, the Pioneers would pick off the ball on the first play. Then MNU would score immediately to make the score 21-3. The Pioneers would take the 18-point lead into the half.
Peru State's defense forced a three-and-out in the first drive of the second half, the Bobcat offense was still stagnant and they would have to punt on their first possession of the half.
The Bobcat defense came up big on the ensuing drive as a strip sack by Devin Adams (Pembroke Pines, Fla) and a recovery by Gerald Smith (Baltimore, MD.) setup the 'Cats offense with great field position.
Peru State decided to make a change at the quarterback position as Grant Gutschow (Elkhorn) came into the game and provided a spark. On a third down Gutschow hit Kaleb Herbel for a 21-yard touchdown strike as the 'Cats would have their first touchdown trailing 21-10.
MNU was driving on the next possession but they would come up empty as a 40-yard field goal was missed wide left.
It had looked like another Bobcat drive had stalled in the beginning of the fourth quarter but the 'Cats dialed up a fake punt as Adams had a 31-yard rush on fourth down putting Peru State in MNU territory.
Boekhout would hit a 27-yard field goal to make it a one possession game 21-13 with a little under ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. A three-and-out by the Pioneers would have the Bobcats in possession of the ball with a little more than halfway to go in the fourth quarter.
Then another fake punt by Adams, this time a pass play to TJ Soules (Fort Worth, Texas) for a 36-yard gain had Peru State nearing the red zone. The Bobcats would turn the ball over on downs albeit a questionable spot on the fourth down play.
Peru State had one more chance with the ball down eight with 1:30 to go. Gutschow started with a 13-yard gain. Then a 21-yard pass to Gregory Adams (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) had the 'Cats at the MNU 34-yard line.
Then a nine-yard run by Gutschow had the Bobcats down to the four-yard line. Then after a penalty giving the Bobcats another first down after it looked like it was going to be fourth and goal, Gutschow scampered into the end zone for the score with nine seconds remaining.
The 'Cats now trailing by two 21-19, needing the two-point conversion, Unfortunately, Gutschow threw an interception. Peru State fell to MidAmerica Nazarene 21-19.
Mueller was 4-of-11 for 60 yards and two interceptions. Gutschow was 2-of-8 for 42 yards, he had a throwing and rushing touchdown.
Sams led the way in rushing with 13 carries for 60 yards. Soules led the way in receiving with one reception for 36 yards.
Defensively Clayton Thrasher (Mandeville, La.) had led the way in tackles with nine. Adams, Ka'Von Lofton (Apopka, Fla.), Kolby Amman and Thrasher each had a sack. Smith had the lone fumble recovery after Adams forced it and Metelus had the lone interception.
Peru State welcomes Evangel to the Oak Bowl next Saturday, October 1, at 2:00 p.m., for the homecoming game.