Keeping games close against Toledo powers Whitmer and Central Catholic used to be moral victories for Perrysburg as its varsity football team headed into the Northern Lakes League season. But not this year.
Last year, the Yellow Jackets lost to both schools in the non-conference before running the table in the NLL. Whitmer handled the Jackets 42-25 and Central Catholic won 35-7.
This year is different. This year Perrysburg beat Whitmer 48-34, and Central Catholic 35-28 Friday.
Perrysburg didn’t use those games this time to gauge how they are against elite teams, and accept loses to bigger, faster, and stronger teams.
The Yellow Jackets made a statement -- to the NLL and others who the team may face in the playoffs.
There were questions heading into this season. Mark Delas, along with several other strong wrestlers on the defensive line had graduated. The skills positions mostly returned, but defensive interior was a question. A 3-0 start with wins over Whitmer and Central Catholic and a blowout half against Clay has to put those to bed.
If you haven’t checked out Perrysburg football in awhile, this year would be a good time to head out to Steinecker Stadium on Friday nights. Quarterback Gus Dimmerling is a tremendous athlete who can throw or run to beat teams. His backup Trevor Hafner, as he showed against Central Catholic, can step in and make big plays if Dimmerling needs a breather.
The defense forces turnovers and has stopped top offenses. Wide receiver Quinn Thomas has proved to be a deep threat.
If the non-conference slate has shown anything, this Perrysburg squad has a chance to once again go in the history books. This team possibly can top last year’s program-first playoff win.
Head coach Matt Kregel will say this team will need to stay healthy and motivated though. If it does, the Yellow Jackets have shown they can run with the best in at least the Toledo area.