MINEVILLE — Blake Altizer threw four touchdown passes in the first half and Peru’s defense shut down Moriah in the second half Friday.
Zane Bazzano caught two of Altizer’s scoring passes and also ran in a touchdown as the Indians wrapped up their regular season by defeating Moriah 52-16 in a Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game at Linney Field.
Peru (6-1) will meet Plattsburgh High in the Section VII Class B semifinals next week, while Moriah (3-4) will play a crossover game.
Altizer completed 12-of-18 passes for 206 yards and no interceptions.
“We were able to spread them out and take advantage of some things in the passing game,” Peru coach Nick Damiani said. “Blake has definitely progressed with his reads, moving around in the pocket.
“I thought our offensive line was fantastic. They gave Blake the time to run some double moves. I felt like he had all day back there to throw the football.”
On the second play of Peru’s second drive, Altizer hit Tim Remillard for a 28-yard touchdown. Then the sophomore quarterback connected with Bazzano for a 14-yard score, and the Indians took a 15-0 lead with 1:50 left in the first quarter.
Tyler Pratt quickly got Moriah on the scoreboard by running the kickoff 76 yards to the end zone.
In the middle of the second, Bazzano leapt for a catch, turned and took off for a 55-yard score.
But Pratt sparked the Vikings again. This time he ran back the kick 74 yards until he was stopped at the 6. It took the Vikings four tries to hit pay dirt, but they did it on Cole Gaddor’s 3-yard pass to Rainier Garnica. Garnica also caught the 2-point conversion, making it 22-16 with 2:39 left in the half.
Damiani wasn’t sure what was going wrong on Peru’s kick return coverage.
“They really do well on special teams,” he said. “Their return game is fantastic. So we definitely saw a weakness. That’s definitely one thing that we’ll fix going into the playoffs.”
Noah Phillips grabbed a 32-yard touchdown catch with just over a minute on the clock to extend Peru’s lead to 30-16.
The Indians turned to their ground game after halftime, with Hunter Bruno, Bazzano and Rivelino Hendricks all scoring rushing touchdowns. Bazzano, who’s score was 61 yards, totaled 115 rushing yards and 75 receiving yards on three catches.
Remillard had six receptions for 71 yards and added 35 rushing yards. He also recovered a fumble. Receiver Bret Boyer left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
Moriah had a chance to stay close right after halftime, but it fumbled the ball away on Peru’s 6-yard line. The Vikings had three other fumbles in the game, along with an interception.
The Indians limited them to 99 yards on the ground and kept the conference’s leading rusher, Cameron Wright, to just 29 yards on 10 carries.
“We’ve got a good defensive line, and my linebackers read and pursue,” Damiani said. “We were able to read our run keys well at the linebacker position and stop the run game. And we’ve kinda been doing that all year.”
Gaddor led Moriah with 39 rushing yards and was 5-for-11 passing for 53 yards.
Peru 52, Moriah 16
Peru 15 15 8 14 — 52
Moriah 8 8 0 0 — 16
P- Remillard 28 pass from Altizer (Bazzano pass from Altizer), 5:00.
P- Bazzano 14 pass from Altizer ( Boyer kick), 10:10.
Mor- Pratt 76 kick return (Shpur pass from Gaddor), 10:26.
P- Bazzano 55 pass from Altizer (Boyer kick), 6:45.
Mor- Garnica 3 pass from Gaddor (Garnica pass from Gaddor), 9:21.
P- Phillips 32 pass from Altizer (LaRocque run), 10:55.
P- Bruno 13 run (LaRocque run), 11:00.
P- Bazzano 61 run (LaRocque run), 1:52.
P- Hendricks 22 run (run failed), 8:18.
P- Bazzano 2-115, TD; Remillard 6-35; Bruno 8-32, TD; Henricks 1-22, TD; Cunningham 1-20; LaRocque 2-16; Boyer 1-2; Altizer 1-(-8). Totals: 23-234, 3 TD.
Mor- Gaddor 7-39; Wright 10-29; Nadeau 3-23; Nephew 5-8; Shpur 1-5; Beeman 1-5; Whalen 5-(-10). Totals: 32-99.
P- Altizer 12-18-0-206, 4 TD.
Mor- Gaddor 5-11-1-53, TD.
P- Remillard 6-71, TD; Bazzano 3-75, 2 TD; Phillips 1-32, TD; Boyer 1-17; Bruno 1-11.
Mor- Calkins 3-41; Shpur 1-9; Garnica 1-3, TD.
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