Peru State football defeats Graceland 34-19 in final road trip
PERU, Neb.—The Peru State Football team defeated Graceland 34-19 in Lamoni, Iowa on Saturday afternoon. The Bobcats improve to 5-5 overall and 3-1 in Heart North Conference play, while the Yellowjackets fall to 3-7 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Peru State started out slow as they went three-and-out in their first drive. Graceland then went marching down the field getting all the way down to the two-yard line. The Bobcat defense bowed up as Jarrius Curry and Ka’Von Lofton (Apopka, Fla.) produced a huge fourth down stop at the two-yard line.
On the next Bobcat possession, they started at their own one-yard line and would have to punt from their own three-yard line. A 24-yard punt would give the Yellowjackets great field position. The Bobcat defense would try and hold firm, but the Yellowjacket quarterback would connect for a 20-yard passing touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.
The Bobcats still could not get much going offensively as they would be forced to punt again. Another short punt would give the Yellowjackets great field position as they started on the Peru State 17-yard line.
Peru State’s defense would get back-to-back tackles-for-loss from Cameron Davis (Hoisington, Kan.) and Devin Adams (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) to make it third-and-long for the Yellowjackets. Graceland would then score on a 24-yard passing touchdown, but the extra point was missed as the Yellowjackets led 13-0.
On the next Bobcat possession Grant Gutschow (Elkhorn) came in after starting quarterback Will Mueller (Springdale, Ark.) took a nasty hit, luckily it was not too serious as Mueller would come back into the game.
Gutschow had a big 14-yard rush on a third-and-nine play right before the start of the second quarter. The Bobcats would methodically move the ball down the field as they would get all the way down to the seven-yard line. Peru State would have to settle for a 24-yard field goal that Mack Boekhout (Elkhorn) knocked through as they trailed 13-3.
Graceland would then go three-and-out and Peru State would get the ball right back. On the ensuing Peru State drive, they would get a 17-yard completion to Gianni Dorsey (Roswell, Ga.) on a third down play. The Bobcats would unfortunately not get passed the 50-yard line and had to punt.
Graceland recovered a fumble on a fourth down play as they would start their next possession on the Peru State 39-yard line. Graceland would score again on another long third down as this time it was a 19-yard passing touchdown. The extra point was blocked as they led 19-3.
Mueller re-entered the game on the next Peru State drive. Mueller hit his favorite target Tyreese Schieffer (Omaha) for a 16-yard pass completion on third down.
Later in the drive Mueller would hit Garrison Dodge (Oakland) for an 11-yard pass completion leaving a short fourth down for the Bobcats on the Graceland 20-yard line. Gutschow came in and got a tough yard to keep the Bobcat drive alive.
Mueller then hit Schieffer for a 16-yard touchdown completion. The extra point was blocked but then recovered in the end zone for two points for Peru State by rule as they trailed 19-11.
On the kickoff, Peru State was able to down the ball at the four-yard line. On the next play Lofton would stand up the running back in the end zone for a Bobcat safety.
Jarrius Anderson (Cordova, Tenn.) had a big return on the punt following the safety for 29-yards as they started their next drive on the Graceland 41-yard line. The Bobcat offense would convert a fourth-and-seven as Anderson caught a 13-yard pass. Two plays later Mueller would hit Schieffer for a 17-yard touchdown strike as they took a 20-19 lead right before the half.
Graceland would get the ball to start the third quarter, but they would only get to its own 45-yard line before they had to punt.
Peru State and Graceland would not be able to move the ball much offensively for its next few drives. Halfway through the third quarter the Yellowjackets were marching down the field but then Carlos Thomas (Gulfport, Miss.) would intercept the ball in the end zone.
On the very next play the Mueller-Schieffer connection hooked up once again for a 77-yard completion. Dorsey then would punch it in from three yards out as the Bobcats led 27-19. Thomas would come up huge again on the next defensive possession as he returned a 47-yard pick-six as the Bobcats extended out their lead 34-19.
Both offenses would then stall out in third quarter. After a 17-yard punt with over a minute to play the Bobcats would have great field position from the Graceland 36-yard line. Unfortunately, the Bobcats would hand the ball right back with an interception.
Graceland moved the ball down the field well in their first possession of the fourth quarter getting to the 12-yard line. Clayton Thrasher (Mandeville, La.) then would pick off the Graceland quarterback on a fourth down play.
Peru State would end up holding on to a 34-19 win over Graceland.
Mueller was 13-of-20 passing for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Gutschow led the way in rushing with 13 attempts for 25 yards. Schieffer had five receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Thrasher led the way in tackles with eight, all of them solo. He also had three pass breakups. Adams had 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks for 11 yards. Thomas led the way in interceptions with two including the one returned for a touchdown.
Peru State hosts Culver-Stockton next Saturday, November 12, for Senior Day/Veterans Day.
Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.