Perryville's bid for a third straight state football tournament appearance ended with thud Friday night, when the Panthers were pasted, 42-0, by top-seeded host Cambridge-South Dorchester in the 1A East regional championship game.
The victory was sweet revenge for Cambridge, since the Vikings had lost the 2012 and 2011 1A East title games to Perryville. The Panthers took last year's regional crown with a 56-35 victory over Cambridge before losing, 28-27, to New Town in the state semifinals. The 2011 edition of the 1A East final saw Perryville top the Vikings, 21-10, and eventually move on to the state title game, where the Panthers lost, 24-11, to Dunbar.
Friday's contest saw the two squads exchange possessions twice in the first quarter, with neither side managing to score. The Panthers nearly pulled off a fake punt on a fourth-and-long play near the end of the quarter, but hosts stopped Perryville a few feet short of the first down.
Following the attempted fake punt, Cambridge marched 49 yards for a touchdown to put their first points on the board.
After stopping Perryville's next two possessions with a turnover on downs and an interception of a pass from Panther quarterback Cameron Cunningham, the Vikings scored their second touchdown of the contest.
The Panthers were able to drive to the Cambridge 15-yard line in the waning seconds of the second quarter, but 32-yard field goal attempt on fourth-and-12 went wide, leaving the hosts with a 14-0 advantage heading into the intermission.
Cambridge scored on its opening possession of the second half to go up 21-0, then notched another touchdown after again intercepting one of Cunningham's pass attempts to go up, 28-0.
The Vikings' secondary was at it again on Perryville's ensuing possession, picking off its third interception of the game, and the hosts' offense cashed in on the turnover with its fifth touchdown of the night.
Cambridge wrapped things up in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 32-yard rush to put the score at 42-0 in the Vikings' favor.
Perryville, the 1A East region's second seed, ends its 2013 campaign with a 7-5 overall mark.