Cyclones welcome Bluejays for showdown
For the first time in a decade, the Perry Bluejays will make an appearance at Merrill Field taking on the HCHS Cyclones Friday night during homecoming.
“It’s always a fun time for the kids and the community,” said Cyclone Head Coach Todd Bladt. “It’s a celebration of people coming back and having reunions during homecoming. We’re looking forward to it and we’re looking forward to putting together a good game plan and getting after the Bluejays Friday night.”
The Bluejays come in with a 1-4 record, winning its opening game of the season 33-18 to the Des Moines Hoover Huskies, but since then have lost four straight.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for us,” said Bluejay Head Coach Tyler Hovey. “Harlan has a pretty storied tradition, so anytime you go up against good competition, it’s a good opportunity to kind of use as a measuring stick for us.”
They are led by Juniors Geren Kenney with 644 passing yards and 285 rushing yards and Eric Lagos with 215 receiving yards. Defensively, Senior Kain Killmer has 29.5 tackles.
“For us, we’ve made improvements coming into this year, so we are also seeing improvements every week and we’re cleaning things up,” Hovey said. “We’ve cut down on turnovers from the start of the year and cut down on penalties.”
For the Cyclones, they come in with a 3-2 record, their most recent game coming against the Creston Panthers on the road where they lost 25-22. The Cyclones are hoping to get back in the win column.
“For us, right now it’s playing one play at a time,” Bladt said. “Every time we step on the field, it’s playoff football. Our playoffs just started a little early this year and we’re looking to improve and test some guys on Friday night and see if they pass the bars and move on from there.”
The last time the Cyclones played the Bluejays was Sept. 13, 2013 in a game the Cyclones won at home 42-14. During that match they were led by Senior Adam Juhl with 197 passing yards and one touchdown, Senior Nate Gettys had 199 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and Senior Trey Lansman with 74 receiving yards and one touchdown. Defensively, Shawn Schaben had 7.5 tackles of the teams 39 that night.
This will be the fifth matchup of the Cyclones vs the Bluejays with the first match being played on Sept. 29, 2006. Harlan won 54-0. Harlan has won every match against Perry.
“I do have a memory,” Bladt said. “A kid from Perry actually broke his femur in a JV football game.”