October 20, 2013

Peru prevails in high-scoring affair

PERU — The Peru football team wasn’t going to let three two-touchdown deficits spoil its homecoming and Senior Day festivities Saturday. 

The Indians (6-1, 7-0) needed 476 yards of total offense, including 35 second-half points, in their 49-42 come-from-behind defeat of Moriah in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference play.

“We’ve talked a lot about how extra effort is going to be what makes the rest of our season,” Peru coach Nick Damiani said. “This team, more than any other team I’ve coached in the past, has had to face more adversity than any other team. That’s the one thing this group as a core has done — is they’ve really kind of bought into that extra-effort mentality and always believe in themselves.

“When you get down by two touchdowns, a lot of teams can just kind of fold and say, ‘it’s not our day, and we’ll just get it next week.’ But this group bounced back and that starts from the top with our senior leaders.”

Down 42-35 with less than six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Indians wide receiver Patrick LaRocque hauled in an incredible, one-handed catch from quarterback Blake Altizer.

Facing a one-point disadvantage, Damiani elected to go for the two-point conversion on the ensuing play. Rolling out of the pocket, Altizer found Zane Bazzano near the pylon, giving Peru its first lead since going up 14-13 in the second quarter.

“You coach a tie game different than you do a game where you’re down by one or up by one,” Damiani said. “We went for two, believing in the guys to get the job done and we got it. So now that puts them (Moriah) down by one, so now they’ve got to press a little bit. Then, we had a couple turnovers that obviously went our way at the end that allowed us to get up by that last touchdown.”

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