By the fourth quarter, Perry was wearing a blue jersey, gold pants and pads, taking snaps and hanging out with burly offensive linemen.
Navy needed an emergency backup quarterback Saturday afternoon, and Perry
was called from the stands and eventually got in the game. The fourth-string quarterback had played in a junior varsity game Friday.
Starting QB Tago Smith was injured just two plays into the second quarter and Will Worth took his place. But what to do if something happened to Worth? Third-string quarterback Zach Abey wasn't available.
Perry was, and he was right there in the bleachers, so the coaching staff sent a manager to get him, and members of the equipment staff to find his game uniform.
"I saw somebody running up the stairs really fast," Perry told the Capital Gazette newspaper. "I was looking at him because it was kind odd, and he was like 'Where's Malcolm? Where's Malcolm?' I was like, 'Right here.' Then I went down to the field and got dressed."
And wouldn't you know it, with Navy up big late in the third quarter, the freshman quarterback got into the game and led the Midshipmen on a 90-yard touchdown drive.
The Navy sports information staff was a little stung that the school was drawing national attention for this.
"More national media tweeting about our fourth string QB (he is on the team folks was sick) than they did about 11 win Navy team last year," they tweeted.
They added that it wasn't a big deal to pick Perry out of the stands.
"Was #4. Had been sick so did not dress. He's not the intramural QB or anything like that," another tweet said.
Eventually they had fun with it, as word spread around social media.
"Ok, NOW you can go crazy. Malcolm Perry is entering the game #NavyFootball," they wrote.
Navy won the game 52-16. Perry gained 30 yards on seven carries.
"It felt good. It's been a long time since I've been in an actual game," Perry told the Capital Gazette. "Playing in the JV game (after missing varsity practice all week) helped a lot."