Perry takes advantage of Brasher turnovers in City League opener
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Brashear spent much of Thursday night struggling to hold onto the football.
Thanks to a 26-13 win for Perry Traditional Academy at Cupples Stadium, the Commodores have a considerably stronger grip on the City League standings.
Though it's only the first of five league games, few teams should provide Perry, the defending City champion, with as much resistance as Brashear, which outplayed the Commodores for several stretches.
Bulls quarterback Angelo Reed completed 11 of 27 passes for 217 yards, running for one touchdown and throwing for another. Diondre Faulk caught four passes for 100 yards, Adam Tajuddin four for 77.
Perry (1-1, 1-0), though, scored on a botched punt return, a pair of touchdown runs from Kevin Griffin (33 carries, 104 yards) and a 40-yard interception return from Juyuan Byrd.
“We told them if you want to be good, you can't turn the ball over,” said Brashear coach Rick Murphy, whose team committed five turnovers. “You can't commit penalties. Early on we shot ourselves in the foot a couple times with penalties and costly turnovers. They capitalized on our mistakes. They won the game.”
Credit Griffin with pacing Perry's offense. With Gary Reid out with the flu, Griffin did “Yeoman's work,” according to Perry coach Bill Gallagher.
“A little banged up, but you just have to keep running hard, keep running tough,” Griffin said.
On the key interception of the game, Byrd stood in the flat, read the play, jumped and picked off Reed for the third time, chugging 40 yards for the score to put the Commodores on top, 20-7, midway through the third quarter.
“At practice, they kept telling me to go to the flats.” Byrd said. “When I saw the lineman pull, I read it and reacted to the ball, took it for a touchdown.”
Brashear (0-2, 0-1) answered with yet another big play, getting a 66-yard touchdown pass from Reed to Adam Tajuddin to again make it a one-score game.
Perry finally pulled away with a 10-yard run from Griffin late in the fourth quarter.
Perry took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter — just not in the way many expected.
On the 12th play of the Commodores' opening drive, quarterback DeSean McGhee was sacked for a 13-yard loss.
But Tajuddin fumbled the punt, and Perry's Taj Dennis jumped on the loose ball in the end zone for the score.
Brashear answered four plays later — one of them a 51-yard completion from Reed to Faulk — with a 1-yard scoring run from Reed at 4:00 of the first quarter. Reed carried 14 times for 57 yards.
Griffin carried on seven of Perry's next eight plays, the lone exception being a 25-yard hookup on a slant route from Shawn Rutherford to Byrd, and pushed Perry ahead, 14-7, with a 1-yard run at 8:31 of the second quarter.
That turned out to be more than enough, as Perry shined on defense and special teams.
“Defensively, we did some very good things,” Gallagher said. “As a coaching staff, we're pleased with the effort.”
Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.
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