The Perry Pumas football team is many things. They are a roster full of versatile playmakers and feature a stout defense. Above all else, though, they are tough. It is a hard-hitting group who love smash-mouth style of football. Who is one of the main players who set that tone? Their quarterback.
Watching Austin Nightingale explains exactly why. Nightingale not only knows how to air it out, but he also leads the team in rushing. He takes plenty of hits throughout the game, and doles out a few of his own, whether the runs be by design or improvisations.
“I have to be really tough because I do get hit a lot and I run the ball and take some shots. It’s all about being tough and being durable to take those hits, and get back up and run another play.”
Nightingale never shies away from a hit, which is amazing because one hit last year knocked him out for the year. In a game early in the season last year, Nightingale suffered a torn ACL, meniscus and a broken femur. The talented Puma had to find new ways to lead.
“I definitely learned a lot more about our juniors,” Nightingale said. “And I learned more about them so I was able to become friends with them and actually be able to interact with them.”
Nightingale has returned to the field with the same ferocity as before and still doesn’t run away from hits.
“I feel 100%. I don’t feel different at all.”
After losing a season with high expectations to injury, Nightingale returns under center knowing that it takes more than those high expectations to achieve success.
“It’s good to have hype, but we can’t just let the hype of winning one game just let us not play a half. We can’t do that. We have to bring hype for a whole game.”
Expect Nightingale and the rest of the Pumas to bring the hype, and the hits, for the rest of the season.