PERU — After being whistled for penalty after penalty last week, the Peru Indians did some extra running in practice this week.
“When you run as much as we did this week, you clean up the penalties,” senior Zane Bazzano said. “And it was effective in getting that done for us.”
The Indians looked much sharper than they did in Week 1 as they rolled to a 53-7 Champlain Valley Athletic Conference football victory over Ticonderoga Saturday.
Peru coach Nick Damiani said he preached focus and execution in practice, looking to improve on a sloppy win over Saranac Lake. The Indians (2-0) responded by committing just five penalties and no turnovers.
Bazzano scored four touchdowns, Jozua Cote had three and Peru piled up nearly 500 yards of offense.
Cote got the Indians going with two touchdowns in the first 6:34 of the game, on 4- and 7-yard runs. Then Bazzano showed his big-play ability. Wide open, he caught a pass and trotted into the end zone for a 36-yard score 1:49 into the second quarter and grabbed a touchdown pass of the same length on Peru’s next possession. That gave the Indians a 27-0 lead.
In the middle of the second, Cote ran around a couple of would-be tacklers and sped down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown. The senior transferred from Longueuil, Quebec this season and rushed for 67 yards last week. He finished with 174 yards on 14 carries Saturday and also caught a 25-yard pass. Damiani said Cote needed a little time to get used to Peru’s system, adding that he had a really good week of practice.
“So when he came into the game, I think he felt more comfortable, more confident, a little more relaxed,” Damiani said. “And then you saw some of what he can do.
“He’s a good football player. Really helps our football team, and he has become a little bit of a leader on our team.”
Bazzano caught a ball and carved through the Ticonderoga defense for a 41-yard score shortly before halftime and returned an interception 35 yards to the end zone on the first play of the third quarter as Peru took a 47-0 lead.
Bazzano totaled three catches for 113 yards and three touchdowns, and he added 36 rushing yards.
“Coach O (Ryon O’Connell) works hard to put me in spots to make plays, and everybody else does their job, and it happens,” Bazzano said. “Right place, right time.”
Jarryn Granger spoiled the shutout with a 5-yard touchdown in the third, and Peru added an 8-yard scoring pass from Blake Altizer to Logan Abel early in the fourth.
Altizer connected on 10-of-14 passes for 215 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Anthony Gallo had 36 receiving yards on three catches.
It wasn’t just Peru’s offense that was impressive — the defense also gave Ticonderoga (1-1) all kinds of trouble. Peru held running back Cameron Wright to 61 yards on 22 carries and limited the Sentinels to 97 rushing yards overall.
“We put some things in defensively to be able to handle that off-tackle run game, and we did that,” Damiani said. “Our kids executed their jobs.”
Peru 53, Ticonderoga 7
Ticonderoga 0 0 7 0 — 7
Peru 14 26 7 6 — 53
P- Cote 4 run (Guay kick), 2:07.
P- Cote 7 run (Guay kick), 6:34.
P- Bazzano 36 pass from Altizer (pass failed), 1:49.
P- Bazzano 36 pass from Altizer (Guay kick), 3:49.
P- Cote 75 run (kick missed), 6:26.
P- Bazzano 41 pass from Altizer (Guay kick), 9:51.
P- Bazzano 35 interception return (Guay kick), 1:05.
Ti- Granger 4 run (Denno kick), 7:30.
P- Abel 8 pass from Altizer (kick blocked), 3:53.
Ti- Wright 22-61; Granger 7-35, TD; Bevins 2-6; Trudeau 1-1; Graney 1-(-6). Totals: 33-97, TD.
P- Cote 14-174, 3TD; M. LaRocque 6-49; Bazzano 2-36; Hendricks 3-18; Landon 1-4; Altizer 1-(-1), Wyckoff 1-(-3). Totals: 28-277, 3 TD.
Ti- Graney 4-17-1-76.
P- Altizer 10-14-0-215, 4 TD. Guay 1-1-0-4. Totals: 11-15-0-219.
Ti- Granger 3-52; Denno 1-24.
P- Bazzano 3-113, 3 TD; Gallo 3-36; Abel 2-18, TD; Cote 1-25; P. LaRocque 1-23; Rock 1-4.
Email Courtney Lewis:firstname.lastname@example.org