DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Perry Meridian High School quarterback Matt McCloskey completed nine of his 14 pass attempts for 172 yards and two touchdowns as the Falcons opened their 2015 season with a 28-17 win over visiting Greenwood in Friday night’s season-opener.
“We’re not happy with the outcome, but we’re certainly not disappointed with the effort,” Woodmen coach Mike Campbell said. “Perry is a big, physical team, and I like the way we competed.”
The Class 6A Falcons took an early lead during Class 4A Greenwood’s second offensive possession, when senior defensive lineman Zach Payton scooped up a fumbled option toss and ran it in six yards for a touchdown.
“They were ready for our option, and our pitch may have been a little late on that play,” Campbell said. “But we had two guys out there who were seeing their first varsity action.
“It’s just going to take some time for them to adjust.”
As a team, however, the Woodmen responded well to that costly turnover. In fact, a fourth-down gamble paid big dividends for Greenwood early in the second quarter when junior A.J. Reingardt connected with junior Dylan Rosado on a 42-yard touchdown pass that tied the game.
Perry Meridian regained the lead with 6:16 left before halftime when senior running back Jordan Marion scored from 60 yards out. But on the ensuing possession, Reingardt completed a 49-yard pass to senior Jackson Daugherty that eventually led to a 32-yard field goal by kicker Spencer Schmidt.
The Falcons carried a 21-10 lead into halftime following a 27-yard touchdown pass from McCloskey to senior Christian Buchanan.
In the second half, Perry Meridian took control of the game on a 53-yard scoring pass from McCloskey to Buchanan with 57 seconds left in the third.
“Our defensive game plan was sound,” Campbell said. “We made some plays, but we need to be more consistent. Penalties took us off schedule.
“We’re not built for second and long.”
Reingardt completed 14 of his 26 pass attempts for 217 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Daugherty led the team in receiving with three catches for 87 yards.
The Woodmen travel to Indian Creek on Friday.