PERU — Peru scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to rally past Saranac for a 21-11 win Friday in Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football.
Jack Hanson piled up 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns to help propel the Indians (3-3), and Austin Carpenter led Peru's receiving group with five catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
The Indians took the lead for good when Hanson broke free and turned on the jets for a 38-yard touchdown with 11:18 left in the fourth quarter.
The scoring scamper followed a touchdown run of 5 yards with nine minutes to go in the third frame that put Peru on the board when the Indians were facing an 11-0 deficit.
"Two weeks ago, we said he is probably our best back," Peru coach Pat Keleher said. "He's a freshman. We just have to start bringing him along to do what he did (Friday).
"We gave him more carries and had him in the backfield more and less on defense. He's going to be a beast."
Leading 14-7, Zach O'Connell found Carpenter for a 5-yard touchdown at the 5:27 mark of the final quarter to ice the game.
That touchdown pass capped off a furious comeback from the Indians, which erased a messy first half.
The Chiefs (3-3) jumped out to an early lead after Conner Burns connected with Hunter Devins for a 73-yard touchdown pass just 55 seconds into regulation.
Saranac capitalized on two botched punts by Peru in the first quarter that both resulted in safeties.
Hayden Blair and Connor Kiroy were responsible for the tackles on each respective safety.
"I just tried to stress to the kids at halftime that we pretty much shut them down other than the long touchdown pass," Keleher said.
"I think the kids really bought in and were not dejected. They were mad and motivated."
The Indians close out the regular season with a 7:30 p.m. contest Friday, Oct. 18, at home against Saranac Lake, while Saranac hosts Plattsburgh High at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19.
"If (we) play like we did in the second half, we can play with anybody," Keleher said.
"We have to clean up the mistakes and the nonsense we have had with Beekmantown and AuSable and get back to basics. We had a great week. We had a great week of practice with good senior leadership."
Peru 21, Saranac 11
Saranac 11 0 0 0 — 11
Peru 0 0 7 14 — 21
S- Devins 73 pass from Burns (Adolfo kick), 11:05.
S- Blair tackles Frechette for safety, 9:32.
S- Kiroy tackles Frechette for safety, 4:20.
P- Hanson 5 run (Smith kick), 9:00.
P- Hanson 38 run (Smith kick), 11:18.
P- Carpenter 5 pass from O'Connell (Smith kick), 5:27.
S- Kelting 9-39; Devins 10-31; Adolfo 1-2; Burns 2-(-15). Totals: 22-57.
P- J. Hanson 17-181, 2TD; Carpenter 3-27; O'Connell 13-15; Padron 1-11; Varno 1-5; Hart 3-1; Frechette 2-(-42). Totals: 40-198, 2TD.
S- Burns 10-20-2-156, TD.
P- O'Connell 8-17-2-79, TD.
S- Devins 2-90, TD; Recore 4-36; Bedard 2-16; Kelting 1-9; Adolfo 1-5.
P- Carpenter 5-63, TD; Varno 2-8; Frechette 1-8.
S- Recore, Clausen.
P- Padron, Hart.
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