September 8, 2013

Peru wins error-filled opener

SARANAC LAKE — Nick Damiani’s first reaction after Saturday’s Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football game was: “Ugly. That was horrible.”

And he was the winning coach.

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The game was the first of the season for both teams, and it showed, but Peru outplayed Saranac Lake for a 33-7 victory at Ken Wilson Field.

Damiani said the Indians talked all week about limiting mistakes, but that didn’t happen early on. Peru had consecutive drives with three penalties each in the first quarter and a touchdown that was called back in the second quarter. The miscues started to add up.

“First quarter, they kind of steamrolled, mistake after mistake,” Damiani said. “As the game went on, the mistakes got fewer and fewer, which is what I expected.

“We did play good, physical football. Offensively, we moved the ball when we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. I saw a lot of good things, but absolutely we’ve got things that need to be fixed.”

Peru did score on its first possession. After Saranac Lake fumbled, Jozua Cote needed two carries to get to the end zone. Peru made it 12-0 early in the second quarter on a 15-yard pass from Blake Altizer to Anthony Gallo.

Late in the second, Peru’s Rivelino Hendricks took a handoff, looked to be tied up and then broke free and raced to the end zone for a 43-yard score.

Saranac Lake got on the board in the final minute when Torin Smith went up for the ball in the corner of the end zone and took it away from a defender. But Peru added another touchdown before the half. Altizer threw a 33-yard pass with the clock winding down, and Gallo and a defensive back both came down with the ball. Gallo held on, and the Indians led 26-7 at the break.

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