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Perrysburg intercepted six passes to earn its first victory, a 50-13 decision over Clay on Friday night at Steinecker Stadium.
The pass rush for Perrysburg harassed Clay quarterback Josh Pennington all night, repeatedly flushing him out of the pocket and forcing him into bad throws.
"Our plan was to take away the run and play man-to-man coverage to pressure them into turnovers," said Matt Kregel, Perrysburg’s coach.
Kadin Llewellyn, filling in for injured Perrysburg running back Mark Delas, scored two touchdowns. Kregel is expecting Delas to return in a week or two from a separated shoulder. Llewellyn had 13 rushes for 87 yards.
"Kadin Llewellyn is a tough kid. He's a wrestler and worked his butt off this offseason and is the best conditioned player I have seen," Kregel said. "He has more heart than anyone on our team."
Quarterback Gus Dimmerling led Perrysburg’s rushing attack with 143 yards. He had a rushing and passing touchdown.
"Efficient is a good way to put his game," Kregel said. "He ran the offense and got us in good positions to make plays. He took what the defense gave us."
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 22-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of the game after intercepting three Clay passes. The game wasn't nearly as lopsided early on, with two of the interceptions coming as Clay was driving.
Pennington threw an interception to Seth Durham at the 1-yard line on Clay's second possession. The previous play was a 21-yard touchdown pass from Pennington that was waved off by a penalty, which prevented it from being a one-point game. The next Clay possession Pennington again threw under pressure into the hands of Perrysburg linebacker Zach Warner.
"Early in the game we ran a streak and the defender knew he got beat and grabbed us, they didn't call it," said Mike Lee, Clay coach. "You never know if we get that score and keep our composure early."
Durham had two of the six Perrysburg interceptions.
"Our defense played great, we had great coverage all night and when the ball was in the air made great plays," Dimmerling said.
That interception set up Perrysburg's second score which was a seven-yard end around by Zach Honsberger, who made the score 14-7.
Later in the first quarter Clay once again had a 21-yard touchdown pass waved off from an illegal procedure penalty. The next play Pennington threw the same route, only to have Perrysburg's Quinn Thomas intercept the pass in the end zone.
Most of Clay's offense came through the arm of Pennington. The first Clay touchdown was a 27-yard strike to Kyle Row, and the second was a long-lofted pass down the sideline to Anthony Ramirez. Row was Clay's leading receiver with eight receptions for 151 yards.
"We made way too many mistakes, they didn't do anything we didn't expect we just made a lot of mistakes," Lee said. "I lost track of all the turnovers we had."
The Yellow Jackets on its second possession when Dimmerling took a quarterback sneak for an 18-yard touchdown run.
Perrysburg tight end Nathan Patterson had both receiving touchdowns on play-action plays. Dimmerling threw it to him for a two-yard score early, and Thomas hit him on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Contact Matt Thompson at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.