Week 8 Preview: No Blue, It’s True
Week 8 breakdown
Who: Greene County (1-6) vs. Perry (2-5)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 in Perry
Last Meeting: Greene Co. won, 38-0 in 2016
Keys to the game: As it has been the last two years, defense is vital. The Rams have shutout Perry 73-0 over that span. Hold strong and the points will come.
The magnitude of this year’s battle for the Cowbell certainly isn’t lost on the Greene County football team.
Anything blue, particularly this week, is as unwelcome as a missed field goal, a fumble or a dropped pass.
A chance to retain the Cowbell trophy, one of Iowa’s oldest traveling trophies, for the fourth straight year is quite the motivating factor for the Rams. Throw in a shutout streak that spans two years and a chance to extend it even further is even more fuel.
Greene County heads to Perry Friday, Oct. 13 for their week 8 matchup with the Bluejays, and the 86th renewal of the historic rivalry.
Confidence is high as the Rams have outscored Perry 73-0 in their last two meetings.
It’s all red and black this week, there’s no messing around throughout the school. A fourth straight win would mean the Rams kept an entire Perry graduating class without a single win in the heated rivalry.
“I know our kids feel a little different about this game,” Greene County head coach Mitch Moore said. “We don’t wear blue at any school function. There is no doubt this is a rivalry.”
Defense will be a key emphasis for the Rams, as the Greene County defenders have kept Perry off the scoreboard completely in the past two meetings. The Rams embarrassed the Bluejays 38-0 a year ago, and 35-0 a year prior. Perry has gone a full 96 minutes without scoring a single point on the Greene County defense.
The battle for the Cowbell trophy is a rivalry that dates back to 1898. The two squads first squared off on Oct. 15, 1898 and after a 30-year hiatus, the respective Lions clubs of Jefferson and Perry decided to commemorate the game with the Cowbell trophy.
Today, it has become one of the oldest traveling trophies in the state of Iowa as well as the entire country.
The fierceness of this long-time rivalry, which Moore will experience for the first time, is something he knows will motivate his players. Being a former high school and college player himself, it’s that little extra boost they may need.
“I’d hope it would make our kids practice and prepare with more urgency. We will see on Friday night,” Moore said. “I know championship teams prepare a little different for rivalries. It’s what you play the game for.”
Perry (2-5 overall, 1-4 in district 2) is fresh off a 42-7 defeat at the hands of No. 10 Webster City. Greene County looks to bounce-back from a hard-fought 37-31 loss to Gilbert in which the Rams squandered a 10-point halftime lead.
Perry quarterback Alexis Garrido has thrown for 928 yards and nine touchdowns this fall. The senior’s favorite target has been Brandon Kenyon, hauling in 31 catches and 475 yards and five TDs. The Bluejays average just 16 points per game while giving up 35 per game defensively. They have scored more than 17 just twice and have been held under 10 points on four occasions.
The Rams smothered Garrido last year, as he threw for just 55 yards and was picked off once.
Despite their previous successes, Moore isn’t letting his guys take the Bluejay offense lightly. They defeated Gilbert 31-27 two weeks back, a team the Rams just lost to.
“(Perry) will be one of the best skill teams we play this year.” Moore said. “They have the ability to score and score fast. Their quarterback, wide receivers and running back are all very explosive players.”
Outside of the Boone game in which the Rams were held to just seven points, Greene County’s offense has put up 98 points over their last three games.
Running back Colby Kafer and quarterback Clint Dennhardt have combined for 12 of those touchdowns. A quick start may be a key, zeroing in their game plan.
“(We must) prepare with a winning mindset,” Moore said. “It all starts with our focus on detail throughout the week. At this point in the season, we need to have an extra attention on player leadership.
With just two games left and the playoffs long in the rear-view mirror, it’s crunch time for the Greene County football squad.
“The players who are going to lead this program for the next couple years and the seniors who have two games left need to lead the best way they can,” Moore said.
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Perry.