Peru State was able to score 23-unanswered points starting in the second quarter which helped lead them to a 30-13 win over William Penn (WPU) on Saturday. The game was played at Statesmen Community Stadium in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
The win helped break an eight-game losing streak as well as an 11-game losing streak which stretched back more than one year ago.
Peru State improved to 1-8 on the season and 1-2 in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart) North Division. William Penn fell to 3-5-1 on the year and also 1-2 in the North Division.
First Quarter Action
WPU took the opening kickoff and went 73 yards in 12 plays to score. The PAT was blocked by Victor Hubbard (Corinth, Texas), but the Statesmen led 6-0 with 9:57 left in the first quarter.
After trading two different possessions, Luis Constantino (Varzea Grande, Brazil) would recover a fumble for Peru State. The 'Cats would start a possession with 3:19 in the quarter on William Penn's 43-yard line.

After a loss on the first play, J'Lon Horton (Valrico, Fla.) ran for five yards which was followed by a three-yard gain by Ki'Jana Owens (North Platte). On fourth and four, Dillon Ruelas (Lincoln) found Mitchell Orr (Smithville, Mo.) for six yards and a first down to the Statesmen's 31-yard line. On the last play of the quarter, Horton would get three yards down to the 28-yard line.
The first quarter ended 6-0 William Penn.
Second Quarter Action
Two short gains to start the quarter brought up fourth and two at the WPU 23-yard line. Horton would gain nine yards and the Bobcats were in the red zone. After a chop block penalty was called on the 'Cats, it would now be first and 25. Owens would carry for two and then Ruelas found Isaiah Cornell (Mount Vernon, Mo.) for eight yards which brought up third and 15. On the next play, Ruelas connected with Jeremy Kaleikini (Brigham City, Utah) for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The point after by John Brady (Hickman) was good and Peru State had a 7-6 lead with 10:59 left in the first half.
The teams would trade a couple of possessions with William Penn giving the ball up in Peru State territory at the 31-yard line which was a result of a quarterback sack by Terrell Turner (Omaha) and Cameron Schlender (Kearney).
Peru State would begin its last drive of the half from that point and on first down, Ruelas hit Orr with a 16-yard pass. On the next play, Ruelas connected with Dwight Butler (Rabun Gap, Ga.) for a 13-yard connection moving the ball into Statesmen' territory at the 40-yard line. After a short run by Owesn, Ruelas found another receiver – Zaron Wright (Gibston, Fla.) for eight yards and another first down. After two incomplete passes, Ruelas found Wright again, this time for 18 yards putting the Bobcats in the red zone for the second time at the ten-yard line. After a WPU timeout, the 'Cats lost two yards on a running play. The Bobcats would call a timeout setting up second and 12. Ruelas would hit Cornell for 11 yards and the Bobcats were knocking at the goal line as they were on the one-yard line. Ruelas would have a quarterback sneak for the score. Brady's PAT was no good, but the Bobcats now led 13-6.
William Penn would have one play left and the half ended with the Bobcats leading 13-6.
Third Quarter Action
The Bobcats would get the ball first to start the half and after a 14-yard kickoff return by Justin Pool (Circleville, Kan.), the 'Cats would start on their 35-yard line. Horton would have two consecutive carries which resulted in a first down. After a loss on the next play and an incomplete pass, Ruelas would find Kaleikini for 12 yards for a first down into Statesmen' territory at the 42-yard line. After another short gain, Ruelas found Orr for a 12-yard pass down to WPU's 28-yard line. Ruelas would then carry for 20 yards and for the first time in the second half, Peru State was in the red zone. The Bobcats could not punch it in for a touchdown, but Brady hit a 26-yard field goal to make it 16-6 with 8:44 left in the third quarter.
William Penn would move the ball on their first possession of the quarter, but missed a field goal. Two plays later, the Statesmen would get the ball back on an interception. However, they could not hold onto it as on fourth and four, they fumbled and Mike Mitchell (Brooklyn, N.Y.) recovered it on Peru State's nine-yard line.
Deep in their own end, after two runs netted just two yards, Ruelas and Kaleikini hooked up for the Bobcats' longest play of the year for an 89-yard touchdown. Brady's PAT was good and Peru State now led 23-6 with 1:10 left in the quarter. That would be the score at the end of the stanza.
Fourth Quarter Action
On William Penn's second possession of the final quarter, they would go 55 yards in just four plays to close the gap to 23-13 with 7:21 left in the contest.
Again, the teams would trade possessions a couple of times before Peru State got the ball back with 3:42 left in the game. The Bobcats got the ball back after Travis Reed (Hickman) intercepted a pass and took it eight yards to WPU's 15-yard line.
After a personal foul penalty on the Bobcats, the ball back to the 30-yard line, on second and 12, Horton went 27 yards down to the five-yard line. Later, on third and five, Tylor Watts (Ridgecrest, Calif.) would go in from five yards out for what would be the final score of the game. Brady's point after was good and Peru State would pick up its first win of the season 30-13.
Team Statistics
The team statistics were actually a little closer than the final score. WPU had more first downs than Peru State as they finished with 15 compared to 13 for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats did finish with more total yardage as they had 337 total with 212 of it coming through the air. The Statesmen had 286 yards with 209 of it coming on the ground.
Both teams fumbled the ball as Peru State fumbled twice and lost one while William Penn fumbled three times with the Bobcats nabbing two.
The penalties were nearly even as well. The 'Cats were flagged five times for 61 yards while William Penn had five flags for 65 yards.
Each team had one interception.
Peru Offensive Statistics
Horton led all rushers finishing with 87 yards on 26 carries. Ruelas had 31 yards on five rushes while Owens added 16 yards on seven carries.
Ruelas was 11 of 20 passing for 212 yards and two touchdowns and one interception.
Kaleikini grabbed three receptions for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Orr had three grabs for 34 yards while Wright had two for 26 yards. Cornell also had two receptions for 19 yards while Butler's lone grab was for 13 yards.
Peru Special Teams Statistics
Dylan Allen (Grand Island) punted six times averaging 34.3 yards per kick and had one within the 20-yard line.
Pool and Orr each had one kickoff return for 14 and five yards respectively.
In addition to Brady's field goal, he kicked off six times averaging 56.2 yards per kick and had one touchback.
Peru Defensive Statistics
Ben Sode (Clermont, Fla.) led the team with ten total tackles – five of which were solo. Reed finished with nine tackles – two solo. He added one tackle for a loss of 3.5 yards, had one interception, and one pass break-up.
Robbie Sturdivant (North Platte) had eight tackles – four solo and added 1.5 tackles for losses of 4.5 yards. Nic Harris (Salt Lake City) and Constantino each had eight tackles as well. Harris had two solo tackles and one tackle for a loss of 1.5 yards. Constantino had two tackles for losses of 7.5 yards and one fumble recovery.
Schlender had five assisted tackles and 1.5 tackles for losses of five yards. Mardarius Adams (Lakeland, Fla.) and Langdon Douglas (Kansas City, Mo.) each had two pass break-ups.
Upcoming Games
Peru State will be traveling to Des Moines next Saturday to face fourth-ranked Grand View who tromped Graceland (Iowa) yesterday 70-0. The Vikings are 9-0 overall and are 3-0 in the Heart North.
The Bobcats final game will be Saturday, Nov. 16, when they host Graceland at 1 p.m. It will be Senior Day for 17 Bobcat seniors.