September 7, 2013

Peru primed for another run at the title

PERU — Blake Altizer was one of the best quarterbacks in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference last year — and he was just a sophomore.

Now a junior, he’s back, brimming with confidence and ready to lead Peru’s offense.

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“I have a lot more confidence than last year,” Altizer said. “Last year I was new to the system and everything. The whole preseason I was learning the system.

“But this year, I know the system, so I can slow down a bit and focus on reading the defense and stuff like that and making sure the other people around me are doing what they’re supposed to do instead of just what I’m supposed to do. I can help out.”

The Indians will look to continue their offensive prowess while developing their young defense. They open the 2013 football season today at Saranac Lake.

The Indians dropped their opener last season and then ran off nine straight wins, claiming the Section VII Class B championship in the progress, before falling in the NYSPHAA regionals.

Peru lost its top rusher from last year, Tim Remillard (he was also the second-leading receiver), as well as major contributors in running back Hunter Bruno and receiver Bret Boyer. But the Indians do have returning players at the skill positions.

Coach Nick Damiani said an experienced line will be the key to the offense. Three starters have returned, and Damiani expects the whole offensive line to be strong.

“If that comes together, everything else falls into place for us because we have some speed, we have some guys who can run and we have a returning quarterback,” Damiani said.

That quarterback was named a Second-Team All-Star last year after completing 86-of-148 passes for 1,563 yards and 25 touchdowns. He had six interceptions. Damiani expects Altizer to build off of that performance.

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