#3 Yellowjackets Enter Tournament 4-2:
Perry and Pembroke meet in an 8-Man Football rematch in the semifinals
A pair of local teams have advanced to the Section V 8-man tournament in the hopes of becoming the first team other than Oakfield-Alabama/Elba to win that title. However, it’s setting up as a game to get to see who gets a shot at trying to knock off top-seed and undefeated Red Jacket in the championship game.
In a matchup of last week’s blowout, No. 2 Pembroke (5-1) will host No. 3 Perry (4-2) on Saturday night at 6 less than a week after the Dragons completely demolished the previously red-hot Yellow-jackets 42-6 in the last game of the regular season.
Outside of a 68-18 loss to Red Jacket, Pembroke has clearly been the second-best team in 8-man this spring. Winners of three in a row since that disheartening road loss, the Dragons have outscored their other five opponents a combined 220-38, including the destruction of a Perry team last week that came in averaging over 54 points per game.
While the defense does much of the dirty work for Pembroke, the offense has been as solid as they come, averaging nearly 350 yards per game on the ground. Last week against Perry, Garrett Totten went off for 210 yards and three touchdowns on the ground on just 17 carries, while QB Connor Peterson added 82 yards on the ground, 84 more through the air and two total touchdowns.
Meanwhile, on the defensive side of the ball the Dragons completely shut down the Perry offense and held the Yellowjackets to under 250 yards of total offense. Pembroke held Perry’s dynamic quarterback Justice Fanaro to just 15-of-33 for 187 yards and only one touchdown just a week after he threw for nine touchdowns in a win over Frewsburg.
Perry is going to have to go back to the drawing board and get back to the offense that had a low scoring output of 34 points before last week and had scored over 50 points on three occasions behind Fanaro and a host of weapons. Perry, even in a 68-34 loss, gave undefeated powerhouse Red Jacket its toughest game of the season.
Braeden Wolfanger and Cam Petrie have been the top receivers for the passing game for Perry this season, while Kellen Bell has put together some solid games out of the backfield, though the Yellowjackets don’t run the ball all that often.
Lucas Sears has been a monster on the defensive end for the Yellowjackets but that’s where they’ve struggled at times. Perry is surrendering 34 points per game this season and that includes shutouts of South Seneca and Lyndonville/Barker/Roy-Hart. Along with the 68 allowed to Red Jacket, the Yellowjackets have given up 48 to Holley and 46 to Frewsburg in wins.
The winner will get a Red Jacket team that has taken over for O-A/Elba as the dominant 8-man force in Section V. In the five games they’ve played, the Indians have averaged 62 points per game and have scored over 60 points on four occasions. Their low output of the season was in a 50-0 win over Holley to start the season.