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Published: Tuesday, 10/22/2013

Perrysburg's fate may rest on 'soul' of team -- the defense

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Perrysburg's defense, which broke up this pass to a Southview player, is a strength of the Yellow Jackets team. Perrysburg's defense, which broke up this pass to a Southview player, is a strength of the Yellow Jackets team.
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Springfield stands in the way of Perrysburg earning at least a share of the Northern Lakes League championship when the teams play at 7 p.m. Friday at Perrysburg Junior High School.

Winning a share wouldn't be enough for Perrysburg though.

"Sharing it wouldn't be cool," said Scott Freeman, a junior wide receiver. "We want to win-out and win the league."

Maumee is the only other regular season opponent for Perrysburg.

"It is really exciting," said J.P. Newton, senior defensive lineman. "Every week is the championship, and we don't want to share it."

Perrysburg's offense has been clicking the past two weeks, scoring over 50 points. Coach Matt Kregel credited the balance his offense had for the success.

"We've executed the past two weeks and it is fun," he said. "We have four wide receivers that can play and a Division I tight end, a tailback hitting his stride, and a quarterback who makes the defense defend the whole field."

Newton said that, for the defense, it is really nice to have breaks. Previously, he said, offenses for the school sometimes had three-and-out drives, making the defense go right back on the field, and that was tough.

Freeman has found his role in the offense as a wide receiver who can catch or take sweep-run plays to the end zone.

"It is a blast to be able to put up so many points," he said. "But the defense makes big plays and the defense is the heart and soul of this team."

Defensively, Perrysburg will have to contain a "really good tailback" from Springfield this week, Kregel said. Springfield is a lot like Southview and is very athletic, and can just use its speed to win, he said.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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