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Upper Perk Gets Bear off its Back with Win Over Boyertown
Written by Jake Hallman, Correspondent

            This one was a long time in the making: 2,829 days to be exact.

            That's the amount of time that eclipsed since Upper Perkiomen's football 

team last beat Boyertown on Nov. 26, 2009, 24-17. Back then, Keith Leamer was the head coach, Indian stadium had a grass field and current quarterback coach Casey Perlstein was under center for the Tribe as part of an 8-5 campaign.

            Fast forward to this past Friday night's season opener in the 60th meeting between the rivals. Upper Perk certainly didn't look the team that lost 21 of the past 24 meetings against Boyertown. In a total team effort, Upper Perk racked up 343 yards of total offense, forced three turnovers and didn't allow a rushing touchdown on defense, and made all six extra points and didn't attempt a punt as they doubled up the Bears, 42-21.

            "The way we lost the past few years to Boyertown was very frustrating," Indians head coach Tom Hontz said, whose team lost the past two match-ups by a combined 12 points. "It was nice to finish and get the win.

            "The difference was staying healthy and having reliable subs who we could rotate in."

            Those subs helped take the pressure off two-way starting seniors Tyler Whary and Austin Tutolo. Whary, a tailback/linebacker, rushed 10 times for 44 yards, caught two passes for 46 yards and a score and had a tackle for a loss and made life miserable for the Bears' offensive line when he blitzed from the middle.

            Tutolo lugged the ball nine times for 51 yards and two scores to go along with two receptions for 30 yards and made an impact at end on defense.

            Those who stepped in for the senior tandem were equally as prolific, as sophomore running back Tyrese Reid led the Indians rushing with 118 yards on 10 carries, and figured a big hand in the special teams and some defense. Jon Brown and Nick Benner ably helped spell Tutolo on defense, as Roberto Rosado also got in the mix.

            One player who never seemed to come off the field was Upper Perk's Ryan Kendra. The senior, more known for his offensive skills, did pull in three passes for 22 yards and a score, but made even more of a splash on defense. His first interception went 70 yards for a pick-six to put the Indians ahead, 35-13. Kendra's second turned away a Boyertown drive deep in Indian territory that would have made the game a one-score affair. But Kendra stepped in front of a would-be touchdown and raced to the opposite 25 to set the table for the final score.

            "Ryan Kendra was very clutch," Hontz said.

            Other solid play Hontz highlighted was Bo Duka (interception, tackle for loss), linebacker Luke Whary, kicker Ryan Casola, and linemen Logan Hollingsworth and Cole Fryer.

            Senior quarterback Tyler Keyser also got a nod, making his first varsity start under center. He finished an efficient 10 of 14 for 121 yards and three scores – two of which came on fourth down.

            "I was very proud of Keyser's poise at QB," Hontz said. "It was a total team effort."

            The Indians went ahead on its first drive with a fourth-down pass to a leaping Kendra in the back of the end zone, and made it 14-0 as Whary pulled down a fourth-down score on the Indians' next touch. Boyertown cut the deficit in half on its next drive, with Upper Perk responding with a Tutolo scoring plunge after a big run on an option by Reid. The Bears came right back to make it 21-13 at the half.

            In the second half, Duka's pick set up another Tutolo touchdown run inside the 3, which the Bears answered to make it 35-21. That all led up to Kendra's interception that spurred a 4-yard scoring pass from a falling Keyser on a four-yard dump pass to Trevor Stephen.

            The effort spoiled the head coaching debut of new Bears head man TJ Miller, who took over this season for former head coach George Parkinson.

            Up next for the Indians is an away game at Kutztown University against Kutztown High School this Friday night. It will be the season opener for the Cougars, whom the Indians defeated 44-20 last season.

            "We just have to keep working, building more confidence on both sides of the ball," Hontz said. "The cliché of playing one play at a time is very applicable. It's exciting to be 1-0, but we need to stay focused if we hope to move to 2-0."





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