The Perry County Central Commodores (5-5) hosted the North Laurel Jaguars (8-2) in the first round of the 5A state playoffs on Friday. The Commodores took the early lead and had to fend off a strong rally by the Jaguars to be able to move on in the playoffs.
Both teams had several opportunities to score in the first 20 minutes of the contest. However, defense was the name of the game, and each time the offense was turned back by a stellar defensive stand.
Perry Central finally broke the ice late in the second period. Nathan Pray broke through the line on a wildcat play and ran 13 yards for the touchdown (7-0).
Just before the intermission, Pray picked off a Jaguar pass, setting the Commodores up with a shot at the end zone. Seth Napier took the snap and plowed through the defense for a 23-yard touchdown run. The score sent Perry Central into the locker room with the 14-0 advantage.
North Laurel used a slow rushing game to ground out a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. The Jaguars ate up most of the clock on the score, and finished with a three-yard Jake McFadden run. After the conversion the Commodores’ lead was cut to 14-8.
Perry Central would have to wait until the fourth quarter to get the touchdown back. Pray, out of the wildcat, once again found the end zone on the run (11 yards). He then threw the conversion pass to Josh Garry, giving the Commodores the 22-8 lead.
North Laurel was not willing to make things easy for the Commodores as they came right back with a touchdown. Again, McFadden ended with a three-yard run. The Jaguars went with the kick this time, bringing the score to 22-15.
The Jaguars held on the defensive side of the ball, forcing the Commodores to punt. With time running out, North Laurel was forced to throw. Their drive was then cut short by a Tyler Fugate interception.
The Commodores would not waste this opportunity. After a couple of strong plays, Pray took the ball 24 yards up the gut for the score. The extra point was no good, giving the Commodores the 28-15 lead.
The Commodores ended the Jaguars’ final drive, and season, with a Nathan Pray interception in the end zone. At that point, all Perry Central had to do was run out the clock for the 28-15 win.
The win put the Commodores’ record at 6-5, and they will go on the road next week to take on the undefeated Pulaski County Maroons.
Perry Central stats: Rushing: Devan Brewer 10 caries for 41 yards, Seth Napier 6 carries for 63 yards and 1 td, Tyler Fugate 4 carries for 80 yards, and Nathan Pray 11 carries for 97 yards and 3 tds. Passing: Seth Napier 7 of 10 for 49 yards and Nathan Pray 1 of 3. Receiving: Tyler Fugate 1 for 1 yard, Josh Garry 1 for 3 yards, Nathan Pray 3 for 35 yards and John Toomer 3 for 13 yards. Interceptions: Nathan Pray 2 and Tyler Fugate 2. Fumble recoveries: Rickey Gibson 1, Michael Shepherd 1 and Harvey Sebastian 1. Tackles: Devan Brewer 2, Jordan Combs 5, Kyle Cornett 2, Tyle Eldridge 6, Tyler Fugate 8, Josh Garry 5, Rickey Gibson 18, Tyler Lawson 1, Nathan Pay 4, Joey Sams 7, Harvey Sebastian 4, Michael Shepherd 14, Austin Smith 2, Koty Taylor 10, and John Toomer 1.