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  • Val T.

Beck, Deming top 100 yards rushing, but Peru beats Zebras to claim TRC lead


Sports Editor, RTC

Beck Deming

PERU — The Peru offense used three plays of 52 yards or longer in the second half to beat the Rochester football team 34-23 at Bengal Memorial Stadium Friday to take over sole possession of first place in the Three Rivers Conference.

Senior quarterback Matthew Roettger had 16 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and he also threw for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Alex Ross contributed 18 carries for 113 yards and a score for Peru, who improved to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the Three Rivers Conference.

Rochester also had two 100-yard backs: Brant Beck ran for 144 yards on 15 carries, and Alex Deming hauled the ball 18 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Colton Ferverda had a 4-yard touchdown run as part of a 65-yard night on eight carries, and he also had a 27-yard reception.

Parker Wallace also kicked a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter.

Rochester is 4-2, 4-1 TRC. Rochester is in a second-place tie with Southwood and Maconaquah, whom the Zebras will play in weeks 8 and 9, respectively.

Rochester was coming off a stretch in which they allowed six points in three games to Whitko, Manchester and Lewis Cass, but Peru scored touchdowns on all four second-half possessions.

Rochester went to a five-man front for much of the game with junior James Gardner seeing significant time at nose tackle.

“I don’t know if it was as much adjustments as we lost our keys,” Rochester coach Ron Shaffer said. “They’re very deceptive in what they do in the backfield. And so, we’ve got to get better at that, but you know, a lot more misdirection, not just downhill. But then their downhill game kind of tore us up too.”

The first big play was Ross’ 52-yard run on the second play from scrimmage in the second half. Originally, Ross straddled the sideline and broke a tackle for what appearned to be a 73-yard touchdown, but Peru was called for an illegal block at the Rochester 11, and the ball was moved back to the 21.

Roettger scored on a 1-yard sneak later in the drive.

Rochester answered with a 10-play, 61-yard scoring drive with Colton Ferverda scoring from the 4. Beck had two runs for 26 yards and an 8-yard reception on the drive, and Deming had three carries for 20 yards.

A 2-point conversion pass attempt failed, and Rochester trailed 14-9.

Peru answered back with their second big play, a 70-yard pass from Roettger to Tanner Boggs, who was wide open at the 50 on third-and-8 and outraced two Rochester defenders to the end zone on what Shaffer later deemed was a blown coverage.

Rochester answered with another 11-play, 62-yard touchdown drive. The drive included a 31-yard run from Deming off right tackle to get to the Peru 24. An aiding-the-runner penalty negated a 13-yard Ferverda run on the first play of the fourth quarter, but Deming would eventually score from the 7.

The two-point conversion run failed, and Rochester trailed 21-15.

After a touchback, the third big play happened as Roettger took the first play of the ensuing drive 80 yards for a touchdown, taking a shotgun snap and following a double-team block that sealed off the left side of the Rochester defensive line.

But Rochester responded with another seven-play, 66-yard drive. Brant Beck had a 31-yard carry on the first play of the drive and later converted a third-and-5 with a 16-yard run down to the 2.

Deming scored on the next play, and Beck’s 2-point conversion run made it 28-23.

Rochester had 99 yards of offense in the first half but 230 yards in the second half.

“I think it was more just running straight at them,” Shaffer said. “We were able to get some counters. We were able to get a little passing going. We just couldn’t do anything in our boot game, and so I think it was just mixing up things a little bit better and getting a feel for where they were at on defense.”

While the offense gained better rhythm, Rochester never got the defensive stop they needed. The Tigers converted a third-and-9 on a 14-yard pass from Roettger to Isaac Beam.

Three plays later, Peru tried another pass despite Rochester having no more timeouts, and Roettger found tight end Braxton Strong behind the defense for a 25-yard touchdown to complete the scoring.

“I just think they were a lot more physical,” Shaffer said.

Peru stopped Rochester on its opening possession, stopping Deming for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the Rochester 44 and then scoring on the ensuing possession on a 5-yard Ross run.

“It was huge, absolutely huge,” Shaffer said of Peru’s fourth-down stop. “It was a bad call on my part, and we didn’t execute.”

Rochester turned the ball over on downs again on their second drive when Peru sacked quarterback Carson Paulik on fourth down. But Peru turned the ball over on downs as Brady Beck and Zakk Parks combined to stop Roettger for a 9-yard gain on a fake punt try on fourth-and-10.

Rochester took over at their own 41, and Brant Beck ran 29 yards on his first carry. Beck would later add a 17-yard run on fourth-and-5, and Wallace would finish the drive with a field goal with 8:13 left in the half.

Peru led wire to wire, avenging a 34-6 loss to the Zebras at Barnhart Field last year.

Peru 34, Rochester 23

Rochester 0 3 6 14 – 23

Peru 7 0 14 13 – 34

First quarter

PERU – Alex Ross 5 run (Landen Crowe kick)

Second quarter

RHS – Parker Wallace 27 FG

Third quarter

PERU – Matthew Roettger 1 run (Hayden Oldaker kick)

RHS – Colton Ferverda 4 run (pass failed)

PERU – Tanner Boggs 70 pass from Roettger (Crowe kick)

Fourth quarter

RHS – Alex Deming 7 run (run failed)

PERU – Roettger 80 run (Oldaker kick)

RHS – Deming 2 run (Brant Beck run)

PERU – Braxton Strong 25 pass from Roettger (kick failed)

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