By Rick Conrad
For the Pharos-Tribune
On a hot muggy night the Logansport Berries played host to the Peru Tigers in the 111th edition of the state’s oldest rivalry. Having won the last 10 meetings and playing this one at home, the Berries were hoping to put one in the winner’s column. Not this week, as this one was all Peru as the Tigers rolled to a 45-14 win in the Berries’ home opener.
Peru won the toss and deferred, allowing the Berries’ first chance to score. Jacob Brown took the kickoff on the 11-yard line and outraced Peru to the end zone just 19 seconds gone in the game. The PAT by Orlando Casimiro was good and Logan claimed an early 7-0 lead.
The wheels then came off the Logansport machine as Peru went on to score the next 38 points of the game.
A week after the Berries defense stood strong against Twin Lakes, they were pretty much a no show against the Tigers. The defensive highlight for Logansport came on the Tigers’ first possession when running back Steven McBride fumbled and Logansport recovered on the 50-yard line.
After gaining just six yards over four downs the Berries turned the ball over and the Peru offense went to work scoring on each possession during the rest of the first half to take a 32-7 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers added to their total in the third quarter when quarterback Nolan Brimbury took it in from 2 yards out at the 7:15 mark to make it 38-7.
With the Berries backed up to their own 15-yard line and facing a first-and-10, fullback Jacob Shelton took the handoff around left end and raced his way to paydirt for the Berries’ only offensive score of the night to make it 38-14.
Peru punched it in one more time in the fourth quarter with 8:50 to go when McBride took it in from 2 yards out. The PAT by Eddie Childers was good to wrap up the scoring at 45-14 for the night.
The Logansport defense was shredded for 419 total yards of offense by the Tigers. They carried the ball 60 times for 331 yards while connecting on 3 of 4 in the air for 88 yards. McBride led Peru with 27 carries for 125 yards while Richardson had 87 yards on just eight carries. QB Brimbury carried 12 times for 51 yards.
Logansport was led by Shelton with 17 carries for 136 yards. Justin Schrock caught two passes for 23 yards. The Berries could muster just 189 yards of total offense during the game.
“Us coaches have to do some soul-searching this week and once again take a look at the personnel we’re putting out there. We’ve got to do a better job of getting these kids ready to play on a Friday night,” said Logan coach Brad Urban. “They came in playing fast and we have the kickoff return and then we force a fumble and we had everything going in our favor. We just couldn’t seal the deal.
“[Peru coach] Bob [Prescott] is doing a great job of getting those guys ready to play. Defensively, we took a step back and didn’t play assignment football against their option. You can’t play football like that.”
It was the Tigers’ first win in the series since 2002. Logan maintains a 57-49-5 lead in the all-time series.