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Perrydale knocks Loggers out of playoffs

BUTTE FALLS — Butte Falls' first trip to the state football playoffs in 14 years was a brief one.

And Blake Barnes was hugely responsible as Perrydale handed the Loggers their first defeat of the season, a 28-22 overtime loss in the Class 1A opening round Saturday.

"We ran up against an opponent better than anyone we've seen," said Butte Falls coach Randy Stephenson of the perennial playoff team from the Casco League. "I think they were a little better than us."

Perrydale (7-3), the No. 3 seed from District 1, was the state runner-up last season and won the title in 2004.

Barnes turned in his finest performance for the Pirates in the biggest game of the season. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound sophomore was a key component both offensively and defensively.

"(Barnes) came into his own today," said Perrydale co-head coach Chris Gubrud. "He stepped up when the spotlight was on."

In overtime, the Pirates had the first possession at the Butte Falls 25-yard line. An illegal motion penalty sent them back to the 30, but Barnes ripped off a 9-yard run to make it second and six. From there, Perrydale banged away up the middle until Barnes completed the nine-play drive with a 1-yard TD run.

Barnes accounted for 19 of Perrydale's 30 yards in overtime.

"Butte Falls was playing outside because of our sweeps, so we thought we would run between the tackles," said Gubrud of his OT strategy. "Our line got enough surge to get us 3, 4 or 5 yards. And our running backs ran hard and converted."

Barnes set the tone on the Loggers' first play in overtime when he knifed through from his linebacker spot and dropped Josh Dyck for a 6-yard loss back to the 31.

"I just read the play and the ball," said Barnes. "They left me unblocked on their sweep. I saw the hole and got up and filled."

On the next play Harley Casillas was tackled for a 7-yard loss, then on third down Joey Knighton was hit as he was trying to pass, and his fumble was recovered by the Pirates to end the game.

"We didn't play our normal game," said a disappointed Knighton, who led Butte Falls with 114 yards rushing and two touchdown receptions. "Both offensively and defensively, we let down."

Barnes and Cody Comerford were the workhorses in the Pirates' ground-oriented attack that amassed 255 yards. Barnes led the way with 132 yards on 18 carries, while the junior Comerford added 81 yards.

The Loggers' (9-1) high-powered offense was limited to 240 yards. And Barnes also spearheaded the defensive effort for the Pirates.

"(Barnes) played fast defensively," said Gubrud. "He was instinctive. When he reacts that fast, he is hard to block."

The game was a contrast of halves. In the first two quarters, 44 points were scored as the teams went into intermission tied 22-22, while the second half was scoreless. Perrydale had seven penalties in the first half and the Loggers none. But after intermission, Butte Falls was flagged 11 times.

"A lot of that has to do with the pressure," said Stephenson. "We have a lot of young kids. I was worried about that."

The Loggers best' scoring opportunity in the second half came when Casillas broke a 35-yard run to the Perrydale 26 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Michael Angel's diving tackle saved a touchdown for the Pirates.

But two plays later, Knighton was intercepted by Tristen Stouder at the Pirates' 10.

Perrydale then went on a 13-play drive, but quarterback Justin Storm threw an incompletion on fourth down at the Butte Falls 15.

Tyler Brown's 19-yard punt return to the Loggers' 26 gave Perrydale one last scoring chance with 1:52 remaining in the game. But the Butte Falls defense stiffened, pushing the Pirates back to the 37, and the threat ended on an incomplete pass.

"Our defense played good enough to win the game," said Stephenson. "But you have to give it to Perrydale — they stopped us."

Perrydale will host Imbler, a 69-20 winner over Spray/Mitchell, in a quarterfinal-round game next week.

Perrydale 16 6 0 0 6 —28

Butte Falls 8 14 0 0 0 — 22

BF — Knighton 6 pass from Myers (McGonagle pass from Myers)

P — Storm 5 run (Comerford run)

P — Comerford 48 pass from Storm (Comerford run)

BF — Knighton 32 pass from Myers (run failed)

BF — Dyck 2 run (Knighton run)

P — Storm 1 run (run failed)

P — Barnes 1 run (pass failed)