Ferverda scores in 4th quarter, but Zebras fall to 0-4
Schlosser relieves injured Renie at QB, accounts for 2 turnovers on defense
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Colton Ferverda ran two yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Rochester football team lost to Peru 28-7 at Barnhart Field Friday.
Brayden Masters ran for 195 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Levi Strong ran for 162 yards for Peru. Dakota Scarlett and Matt Roettger also had touchdown runs for Peru.
Peru improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. RHS fell to 0-4, 0-4.
Not only did the Zebras lose the game, but they might have also lost their starting quarterback. Reece Renie left the game in the second quarter with an apparent shoulder injury, and Antonio Schlosser came in to replace him.
Schlosser completed six of 15 throws for 108 yards in relief. Jarret Regan had three catches for 48 yards, and tight end Alex Griggs caught two balls for 39 yards, including a 22-yard catch on the play prior to Ferverda’s touchdown. Aaron Swango also had two receptions for 32 yards.
Peru had 461 yards of total offense – 457 rushing yards, 4 passing yards.
The Zebras had 69 offensive snaps as compared to Peru’s 36, and RHS also won the turnover battle, giving the ball up only once while taking it away twice.
“We did a lot better job running the football and sustaining some drives,” RHS coach Sean Kelly said. “Guys up front did a heck of a job tonight. We just didn’t finish those drives there at the end.”
Schlosser also factored on defense, picking off Strong and also recovering a fumble. But RHS converted neither of Peru’s turnovers into points.
Ferverda’s touchdown run cut the Tiger lead to 14-7 with 10:22 left and broke a seven-quarter scoring drought. (The Zebras have not been shut out in back-to-back games since 1984, and that streak remains intact.)
But Peru countered right back. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Masters got loose for a 49-yard run to the RHS 16. Four plays later, Scarlett scored on a counter reverse around the right perimeter to make it 21-7. Kelly threw his arms in the air on the sideline, frustrated that there was no penalty called on Peru.
“Our linebacker came through on a blitz, they bear-hugged him, and they threw him to the ground,” Kelly said. “It should have been a hold all the way.”
After RHS gave up the ball on downs, Roettger, a freshman reserve running back, strolled 36 yards down the left sideline for the game’s final touchdown.
It was one of 14 runs of 10 yards or longer for the Peru ground game.
RHS had more first downs in the first half (seven) than they did in the entire Tippecanoe Valley game (five) the previous week in a 54-0 loss.
And they sidelined the Peru offense for almost the entire second quarter, limiting them to only one minute of possession time.
After Masters’ 37-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left in the first quarter, RHS embarked on a 20-play offensive odyssey, eating up the rest of the first quarter and most of the second.
Ferverda had a 7-yard run on fourth-and-2 running behind right side offensive linemen Marshall Fishback and Hunter Shriver. He had another 5-yard run on fourth-and-inches later in the drive.
But the drive ended on the Peru 20 after an incomplete pass.
Two plays later, RHS had the ball back after Schlosser’s fumble recovery. And after a 7-yard run by Renie and Peru pass interference penalty, they had a first down at the Peru 11.
But that drive ended with an interception on fourth down by Roettger.
“They’re a hard-nosed team, and they’re tough,” Peru coach Romison Saint-Louis said of the Zebras. “And again, my hat’s off to the coach, the coaching staff and the players. They have been hit a little bit with COVID now. I think the first three weeks, they couldn’t play. And just to be able to go through that and play like they played today, I have lots of respect for them.”
Kaleb Shaffer led the RHS ground game with 56 yards, and Ferverda had 53 yards.
Shaffer was filling in for the injured Alex Deming at fullback, and freshman Dakota Palmer filled in for Gavin McKee at outside linebacker. Deming has shin splints, and McKee has a back injury. Renie was being examined for a possible dislocated shoulder, according to Kelly.
The injury issues did not dampen Kelly’s enthusiasm for the potential of his young team.
“We’re improving, we’re getting better, and I like the direction that we’re going,” Kelly said. “We got after them. We challenged them. The kids responded. I’ve got nothing but great things to say about these kids. They’ve got great attitudes. They’ve got a never-die attitude, and they’re getting better, and I’d hate to be an opposing coach here in a couple years.”
Peru 28, Rochester 7
Peru 7 0 7 14 – 28
Rochester 0 0 0 7 – 7
PERU – Brayden Masters 37 run (Zach Johnson kick)
PERU – Masters 10 run (Johnson kick)
RHS – Colton Ferverda 2 run (Kaleb Shaffer kick)
PERU – Dakota Scarlett 18 run (Johnson kick)
PERU – Matt Roettger 36 run (Johnson kick)