L-P's Tre'von Hunter and teammate Payton Piraino celebrate after Hunter made an interception.
L-P's Tre'von Hunter and teammate Payton Piraino celebrate after Hunter made an interception. — Scott Anderson

BARTONVILLE — Sometimes it takes inspirational words and sometimes it just flat out takes getting chewed out to fire a team up.

For the LaSalle-Peru football team, it was a little of both as the Cavaliers exploded for 37 second half points to come away with a 37-22 road victory Limestone in a non-conference game Friday night.

“We got on them a little bit at halftime,” L-P coach Jose Medina said. “But really we shouldn’t have to do that. Friday night football should be enough to get you fired up, and I think once we got rolling in the second half, the kids showed themselves just what their capable of doing.”

The Cavs defense kept L-P in the game in the first half, giving up just one big play when Travus Lutz hit Luke Ori on a quick slant for a 65-yard touchdown catch to give the Rockets a 7-0 lead at halftime as the Cavs picked up just 55 yards in the first half.

The second half was a different story and seemed like a different team all together.

After the Cavs forced the Rockets to punt, L-P wasted little time getting on the board.

Carlos Larios had two carries for 13 yards and Tyler Hartman added another 6-yard run.

On third-and-8, Tre’Von Hunter checked into the game and took a pitch off of the left tackle, made two quick cuts and burst up field for a 66-yard touchdown run.

Limestone quickly went three-and-out to give the ball back to the Cavs. Limestone was whistled for a pass interference penalty before Hartman ran for 15 yards.

Jacob Wagner filled in for Larios, who was in the sideline with an injury, and had tough runs of 5 and 6 yards before running over three defenders on his way to a 24-yard touchdown.

“That may end up being the biggest play of the season,” Hartman said. “To run over guys like he did and give us the lead fired us up big time.”

The Rockets responded promptly with a 32-yard run from Gavan Nunez and then an 18-yard touchdown pass to Ori to tie the game at 14-14.

Hunter returned the kickoff to the Cavs’ 46, setting up good field position.

Hartman ran for 34 yards to help set up an 11-yard TD run by Wagner to give the Cavs the lead once again at 20-14 after the kick was blocked.

Limestone was forced to punt again after three plays.

On third-and-5 on L-P’s ensuing drive, Hartman broke free down the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown run, and the Cavs converted the two-point conversion for a 28-14 lead.

“I can’t take any credit without giving credit to the offensive line,” Hartman said. “Those guys up front did an amazing job opening up the holes.”

On the next Rockets’ drive, the L-P defense was stingy once again, forcing another three-and-out.

As Limestone attempted to punt, the snap sailed over the punter’s head into the end zone for a safety and a 30-14 L-P lead.

The Cavs continued to roll on their next possession with a 16-yard run from Julius Sanchez and a 1-yard TD run from Hartman for a 37-14 lead.

After the Cavs scored 23 unanswered points, the Rockets got a 5-yard touchdown grab from Ori with the time winding down as L-P came away with the 37-22 victory to even its record at 1-1.

Hartman led all rushers with 102 yards and two TDs on 21 carries, while Larios added 65 yards on 14 carries and Wagner contributed 55 yards and a pair of scores on seven attempts. Lutz through for 197 yards and three scores for the Rockets.

L-P returns home next week to face Sandwich.

Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939 or at sports@newstrib.com.