PERRY — Their win secured, members of the Perry football team took up the chant their fans started midway through the fourth quarter.
“Whose house? Our house.”
For another year, at least.
The Panthers scored twice in the first six minutes and eased past Veterans 31-0 in a turf war Friday at Herb St. John Stadium. Perry improved to 3-1 overall and is still tied atop the GHSA Region 2-AAA standings at 3-0 in region play. Veterans fell to 0-4 overall, 0-3 in region.
When Veterans opened, the Houston County Board of Education decided the schools would share the stadium facility on the Perry campus. Perry was designated the visiting team for the first meeting between the two. That served as a rallying cry for the Perry student body all week.
“It was a big deal,” senior quarterback Brent Gentry said. “We had never sat on that side of the field before in Perry history. ... We wanted to show this is still our town.”
The Panthers wasted little time making the point. Senior linebacker Dylan Pollard returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown on the game’s seventh play. Pollard also had a fumble recovery and a sack on the evening.
After a Veterans punt, running back Trey King ran 58 yards for a touchdown as Perry went up 14-0 with 5:50 still to play in the first quarter. King topped the Panthers rushing attack with 99 yards on seven carries. As a team, Perry rushed for 228 yards.
“The kids were excited. They wanted to play in a big game,” Perry head coach Stacey Harden said. “They showed it the way they came out. It was pretty fast and furious.”
Veterans struggled to maintain any offensive rhythm. Perry held the first-year school to 40 yards of total offense. The Warhawks started freshman Nick Anderson at quarterback because Dylan Pierce was unavailable with a hand injury.
“We didn’t have a choice,” Veterans head coach David Bruce said.
Anderson, who wasn’t listed on the Warhawks original varsity roster, completed his first throw of the night, an 11-yard completion to Devante Mitchell that went for a first down, but he finished with just two completions in eight pass attempts. He threw three interceptions.
Perry led 28-0 by halftime. Gentry hooked up with Antonio Mitchell for a 22-yard touchdown play. Calvin Howard added a score with a 12-yard run with two minutes to play in the half.
Gentry went 6-of-8 for 84 yards. Three of his completions went to Mitchell, a junior, for a total of 61 yards.
“He’s my go-to guy,” Gentry said.