News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

September 13, 2013

South runs into potent Perry Meridian offense

Braves fall 43-35 to Falcons

TERRE HAUTE — When you look at Perry Meridian’s statistics and you see the ridiculous video game-like numbers — entering Friday’s game against Terre Haute South, the Falcons averaged 52 points per game and gave up 50.7 points — and you ask yourself how that can be?

Then you see Perry Meridian quarterback Conner Smith, wide receiver Daymeon Hamilton, running back Daquan Keys and a seemingly endless supply of options shuttling in and out of the Falcons’ assembly line of offensive talent and you start to get the jist.

Perry Meridian’s offense was formidable against South as the Falcons prevailed 43-35 at Perry Stadium, but the Braves had self-inflicted wounds that gave the Falcons help they didn’t need.

Two South turnovers and a safety in the first half put South in a bind it could never quite extricate itself from despite some good moments on the Braves’ part.

South running back Logan Deady had 152 rushing yards and quarterback Timmy Herrin threw for 251 yards two touchdowns and scored two more on the ground.

But Smith was incandescent. He completed 26 of 35 passes for 372 yards and six touchdown passes.

South established a pattern of good news, bad news from the start. South’s Johnathan Rogers returned the opening kickoff 43 yards into Perry Meridian territory. But on South’s first play from scrimmage, Deady fumbled it away.

Five plays later, the high-powered, no-huddle Perry Meridian offense cashed in as Smith found Keys on a 27-yard touchdown connection on 4th-and-8.

South answered with a steady drive that took it deep into Perry Meridian territory, but Herrin was picked off at the Perry Meridian 6-yard line on fourth down.

Smith — a senior who is being recruited by Duke, Illinois, Northwestern and Tulane — later found Robinson on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 3:32 left in the first quarter to put the Falcons up 14-0.

By the second quarter, South began to adjust to Perry Meridian’s quick-hit offense and when Dickie Rollins stuffed Andrew Robinson for no gain on 4th-and-goal at the South 2, it seemed the Braves might turn a corner.

But as it was in the opening sequence, bad news followed good news. Deady was stuffed by Perry Meridian’s Shane Corman in the end zone for a safety and Perry Meridian led 16-0.

Deady made amends on South’s next drive as he broke a 61-yard run, helped greatly by a backfield block by Jacob Johnson. Karma paid Johnson for his block as he caught a 14-yard touchdown from Herrin on a nicely-thrown fade route to make it 16-7.

But Perry Meridian’s offense was too potent. The Falcons needed just eight plays to get back on the board. Smith found Robinson for a 13-yard touchdown strike to make it 23-7.

South thought it had momentum going into the half as Herrin and Johnson hooked up for what would have been a 53-yard touchdown on the last play of the first half. But illegal hands to the face was called at the line of scrimmage and the scored was wiped out.

Unfazed, South held Perry Meridian’s offense on its first two second half series and hit the ground to pull back within a touchdown. South runs of 11, 14 and 31 yards, all by different backs, set up Herrin for a 5-yard touchdown run on a quarterback keeper. He also kept it on a successful two-point conversion to cut the Braves deficit to 23-15.

It was as close as South would get.

Perry Meridian’s offense didn’t stay fallow for long. On a linebacker blitz, wide receiver Devon Parrish dropped into the middle, Smith found him, and Parrish had 59 yards of open space to roam for a touchdown to make it 30-21.

After a South three-and-out, Smith showed his improvisational side. On a scramble, he threw a perfect jump pass to Keys, who raced 31 yards for a touchdown to increase the Falcons’ lead to 36-21.

A South fumble with 10:35 left in the fourth quarter was a turnover too far for the Braves. Perry Meridian would score again on a 31-yard TD pass to Ben Fleet. Herrin scored on a late 5-yard touchdown run for the Braves. He later found Johnson for a 20-yard touchdown with 11 seconds left.

South (2-2, 1-1) stays on the road in Conference Indiana play next Friday as it travels to Columbus North.

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