CLINTONVILLE — Peru and AuSable Valley both lost a star running back in the first five minutes of their Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game Friday.
But the Indians’ philosophy is: Next man up.
High School Sports Magazine
The next man, Mackenzie LaRocque, rushed for two touchdowns and more than 100 yards as Peru kept its offense rolling and defeated AuSable Valley 47-7. The Indians (3-0) also received contributions on the ground from Dustin Landon and Rivelino Hendricks.
“I need everybody on my football team ready to contribute,” Peru coach Nick Damiani said. “I believe in everybody on my roster from top to bottom. When one guy’s not out there getting the job done, I’m fully confident that the next guy gets the job done.
“And I saw that. I thought they did a nice job stepping up, and they didn’t allow it to be a distraction.”
The Indians didn’t take long to pull ahead. During the first drive of the game, Zane Bazzano returned an interception to AuSable Valley’s 9-yard line, and Jozua Cote ran it into the end zone from there.
That was Cote’s last carry of the night. During Peru’s next possession, Cote and AuSable Valley’s leading rusher, Dillon Savage, were ejected for throwing punches.
With Cote out, LaRocque knew he had a chance to step up.
“That was something I wanted to do,” LaRocque said. “You know you have to get the job done.”
The Indians finished the drive with a 30-yard passing touchdown from Blake Altizer to Bazzano, and four minutes later they took a 20-0 lead on Anthony Gallo’s 11-yard touchdown reception.
Then Peru turned back to its ground game. Landon scored from the 7 late in the first quarter, and LaRocque ran for touchdowns of 20 and 6 yards in the second.