South squad football coach Jake Gilbert said Southport’s Christian Perry runs angry.
Friday night, Perry was literally fuming.
“I was pretty mad because they were playing dirty and talking stuff, too,” Perry said. “We got them in the end, and we just played aggressive.”
Perry rushed for 131 yards on 24 carries to lead the South to a 30-2 rout of the North in the Grange Insurance North-South All-Star Classic before a crowd of 5,389 at North Central High School.
“He’s a monster,” said Gilbert, the Westfield coach. “He runs so hard. It’s just all-out effort. A couple of drives, he was just carrying us. You’ve got to give a ton of credit to the offensive line. They were very physical up front.”
Perry, voted the game’s Most Valuable Player by media members, also ran for a 2-yard touchdown. The South has won four in a row to take a 27-21 lead in the series.
South quarterback Nick Ferrer said there were some late hits by the North.
“They just saw the scoreboard and they were upset,” Ferrer said. “That just motivated (Perry) a little more, and that was a good thing for us.”
Perry said the offense was trying to mix up the pass and run.
“We scrimmaged them twice, so they knew our plays,” Perry said. “We were trying to run it down their throats.”
Perry, who rushed for 2,341 yards and 24 TDs for Southport last season, said he plans to play one season at the College of DuPage, a community college in Glen Ellyn, Ill., before transferring to a Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I) school.
“Just get an opportunity to go D-I is all I want,” he said. “This was one of the best weeks of my life.”
South quarterback Jake Purichia, who led Cardinal Ritter to the Class 2A state title, completed 7-of-11 passes for 85 yards, including a 10-yard TD pass to Avon’s Cress Kimbrough.
The South also scored on a 32-yard interception return by Austin Leclere.
Ferrer completed 7-of-12 passes for 108 yards, including a 50-yard TD pass to Perry Meridian’s Jaquan Keys.
“Just get athletes in space and they were playing soft defense,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer said the only thing that slowed the offense down was silly mistakes.
“There was some holding and we had guys being a little aggressive after the whistle,” Ferrer said. “We did really well in practice, and it carried over to the game.”
This was the most lopsided victory since the South won 38-7 in 1997. The South limited the North to 61 rushing yards and 26 passing yards. The South finished with 386 total yards.
Gilbert said the players swallowed their egos and worked hard all week.
“This wasn’t Club Med,” Gilbert said. “We worked these guys. They were doing gassers and up-downs. We wanted to win the game. We coached them and they responded.”
Call Star reporter Mark Ambrogi at (317) 444-6047. Follow him on Twitter: @mark_ambrogi.