In the first game of the season at Bulleit Staidum, Seymour sophomore quarterback Alan Perry marches the Owls down the field and spikes the ball with three seconds on the clock in the first half.

Perry drops the ball to stop the clock and pats his linemen on the helmet, hoping to pump them up for one last play.

As the seconds tick down, Perry goes through his reads one at a time looking for a score. Perry launches the ball from 27 yards to Jordan Henry in the back of the end zone for the score and the crowd erupts.

Last season, the Owls had a higher chance of botching that play than coming away with a touchdown.

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In his second season as starting quarterback, Perry already has made big strides as the signal-caller for the Owls.

Against Silver Creek, in game one of 2015, Perry went 16 of 25 for 187 and three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Once the jitters were out, Perry buckled down.

In week two, at Jeffersonville, Perry hit 22 receivers on 25 tries for 230 yards and three touchdowns.

Combined, he’s 38 of 60 for 417 yards passing, has rushed 91 yards, with six touchdowns and two interceptions: a QB rating of 103.3.

As a freshman, Perry had six throwing TDs through nine starts.

“He made a huge improvement from week one to week two (in 2015),” Owls coach Josh Shattuck said. “This offseason, as crazy as it sounds, he was five-foot-eight and 135 pounds. Now he’s almost six foot and near 170 pounds. He’s definitely a cool, calm, collected kid, which is why we brought him up last year. I’m very pleased with Alan’s progress.”

With 40 points through their first two games, the Owls have scored more than the first four games combined in 2014.

“I’d say my biggest improvements have been my reads in the passing game,” Perry said. “Last year, I was able to pick up the running game pretty well but this year I’ve grown more in the passing game. I’m able to read linebackers and safeties better and make the right plays.

“I feel more comfortable in the pocket. I’m staying more calm and focused, making my reads and making better throws.”

Coach Shattuck said this year’s offense has revolved around the Owls’ ability to throw the football.

“With our scheme, its been nice to throw the ball,” Shattuck said. “We’re pretty much 50-50 on yardage, we’re still going to be a 60-40 run-pass team by design but aren’t afraid to throw the ball.”

The Achilles heel this season for the Owls is the second half of games, as they’ve given up leads in both losses following intermission.

“I think the games so far have been better, but we have a lot of room to improve,” Perry said. “We know we can play a great half, but we have to put a whole game together to get a win.”

So far this season, Perry has distributed the wealth throwing to six different receivers.

Luke Dover has amassed nine receptions for 187 yards and three scores and Jackson Morris has 12 receptions for 105 yards to lead the Owls.

Another improvement for Perry has been the deep ball; he has long passes of 41 and 49 yards in the first two games.

This year’s offense, whether he’s throwing the short or deep ball, has better catered to Perry’s abilities.

“It doesn’t matter what type of throw it is, we’re going to take what’s there,” Shattuck said. “We build our passing game around what our QB can throw. We don’t put a route in our scheme that (Perry) can’t throw. That makes it easier for me play-calling wise. We don’t have to concern ourselves with what throws he can and can’t make, we know he can make what we draw up.”

Shattuck said that Perry has the potential to be a standout quarterback in the future.

“With him, he will slowly but surely realize how good of a quarterback he can be long-term,”Shattuck said. “If he dedicates himself to the weight room and becoming a bigger, stronger athlete he will be better at all three sports he plays. He’s as cerebral player as I’ve ever had, he understands the game so well.”

Under center, the quarterback is often looked upon as the leader of the offensive unit.

While me may be young, Shattuck said that Perry has stepped into that leadership role.

“He’s as good a leader, I think some people would agree with me on this, as anyone in our school,” Shattuck said. “He’s a special kid, very intelligent and does things the right way. He has very high expectations in all his sports and handles pressure very well. He’s a rare breed, as a sophomore. I’m really excited to see his development in his career here and anything he wants to do after that.”

For Perry, and the returning Owls, last year’s victories are far behind and they want to win now.

“Last year, with those two games we won, we got to taste what it felt like to win,” Perry said. “This year we’re out here to get more wins. We’re hungry for it.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”Catch the Owls” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

What: Columbus East (2-0) at Seymour (0-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Where: Bulleit Stadium

Radio: 92.7-WXKU

Last outing: Jeffersonville def. Seymour 35-22, Columbus East def. Columbus North 28-21

Most recent meeting: Columbus east won 61-6 on Sept. 5, 2014

Series past 30 years: Columbus  East 19-5


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