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Winning streak eludes Perryville football team
PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- The Perryville football team was confident it could post a rare two-game winning streak after recently snapping its 15-game losing skid.
Fredericktown's two-headed rushing monster of Jeremy Gremminger and James Royer, along with several missed opportunities, conspired to foil the Pirates' plan.
Gremminger and Royer accounted for 285 yards rushing and all three touchdowns as visiting Fredericktown recorded a 19-0 victory Friday night.
"They're a pretty tough tandem," Perryville coach Mike Wojtczuk said.
Just as damaging to the Pirates were the three times they came up empty after driving deep into Fredericktown territory.
Cashing in on even two of those opportunities might have proved the difference. Perryville trailed just 12-0 until the final minutes, when the Pirates were forced to pass and had an attempt intercepted that led to the final touchdown.
"We just didn't execute like our coaches told us," Perryville junior Levi Zook said.
Perryville (1-4) was coming off a victory over Potosi that put the Pirates in the win column for the first time since late in the 2009 season.
That had the Pirates extra excited to make it two in a row -- or maybe not.
"We didn't come out fired up like last week," Perryville senior Robert Brewer said.
Fredericktown (2-3), which won its second consecutive game, beat Perryville for the seventh time in a row.
Wojtczuk credited the Blackcats but lamented his squad's missed opportunities.
"We just didn't execute. That was our biggest problem. We found ways to shoot ourselves in the foot," said Wojtczuk after the Pirates had three passes intercepted. "I don't want to take anything away from Fredericktown, but we did a really nice job of beating ourselves tonight.
"We felt like we had a shot. We just didn't come through on our end of the bargain."
Gremminger and Royer certainly came through, along with a stout defense that posted its first shutout since blanking Perryville in Week 6 of 2009.
Gremminger, a junior quarterback, rushed for 160 yards on 17 carries. Royer, a junior tailback, added 125 yards on 15 attempts.
"Our offensive line did a good job, and we were able to run the ball," Gremminger said.
Perryville picked up two first downs on the game's opening possession but was forced to punt.
Fredericktown responded by marching 80 yards in just seven plays. Gremminger ripped off a 46-yard run and had 62 yards on three carries during a drive that ended with Royer's 10-yard touchdown.
The extra point failed, but the Blackcats led 6-0 with 6 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter.
Perryville's defense stiffened after that. The halftime score was still 6-0. The Pirates might have entered the break ahead, but a late drive that reached inside Fredericktown's 25-yard line ended with an interception.
"We just didn't execute like we anticipated," Brewer said.
Fredericktown took the second-half kickoff and marched 74 yards in just four plays. Royer had runs of 24 and 16 yards. Gremminger added a 6-yarder, and his 28-yard scamper reached the end zone for a 12-0 advantage.
Perryville then used about eight minutes on a drive that reached the Fredericktown 13 before junior Jake Korokis intercepted his second pass of the night, this time in the end zone on fourth down.
The Pirates had one more strong opportunity, driving to the Blackcats' 25 before a fourth-down pass fell incomplete with just more than four minutes left in the game.
An interception by junior Justin Sawyer was returned about 30 yards to the Perryville 1 with 2 minutes remaining. Royer scored on the next play to ice the victory.
"We played hard. I can't fault the effort," Wojtczuk said.
The Blackcats outgained the Pirates in 307 to 188.
Perryville rushed for just 98 yards on 40 attempts, and junior quarterback Chris Zahner completed only 6 of 26 attempts for 90 yards. Senior tight end Cody Call caught three passes for 58 yards.
"We played a real good defensive ballgame, and we did some good things offensively," said Fredericktown coach Shannon Henson, whose team was hit hard by graduation after making the playoffs the past two years.
Perryville returns to action Saturday with a 1 p.m. homecoming matchup against Maplewood.
Fredericktown 6 0 6 7 -- 19
Perryville 0 0 0 0 -- 0
F -- James Royer 10 run (kick failed), 6:02
F -- Jeremy Gremminger 28 run (run failed), 10:43
F -- Royer 1 run (Ty Burks kick), 1:52
First downs (Fredericktown-Perryville) 12 13
Rushes-yards 34-276 40-98
Passing yards 31 90
Passes 2-10-0 6-26-3
Punts 4-22 4-26
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties-Yards 11-75 4-25
RUSHING -- Fredericktown, Gremminger 17-160, Royer 15-125, team 2-minus 9. Perryville, Levi Zook 13-50, Kirk Hadler 11-34, Wyatt McAfee 8-11, Robert Brewer 3-8, Chris Zahner 4-minus 2, team 1-minus 3.
PASSING -- Fredericktown, Gremminger 2-10-0-31. Perryville, Zahner 6-26-3-90.
RECEIVING -- Fredericktown, Royer 1-24, Justin Sawyer 1-7. Perryville, Cody Call 3-58, Hadler 2-22, Zook 1-10.