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Falcons Spoil Tribe Homecoming
Written by Ernie Quatrani, Correspondent
2017-10-11

            Upper Perk's Homecoming football game would have been an evenly matched affair if not for Pottsgrove's supernaturally gifted running back Rahsul Faison.

            The Falcon senior rushed for 350 yards and six touchdowns in the visitor's 55-24 win over the Tribe last Friday night.

            Faison, 5'11 and 190, powered through, darted around, and sped past an overmatched Upper Perk defense to hand the Tribe its first Frontier Division loss (2-1, 4-3) and set up a must-win game with Pope John Paul this weekend.

            "When you're up against a back of that caliber, there's not much you can do," offered Upper Perk head coach Tom Hontz. "He's phenomenal."

            After an Upper Perk punt on the first series of the night, Faison took a handoff on the Falcon's first play from scrimmage and raced 58 yards into the end zone.

            On Pottsgrove's second series, Faison shook off two UP tacklers near the line of scrimmage, cut to the right, and streaked 39 yards, diving into the end zone to give the Falcons (3-0, 7-0) a 14-0 lead less than six minutes into the game.

            "We were a little wide-eyed at first," Hontz theorized. "You can't replicate a guy like that [in practice]. That's the biggest problem."

            The Tribe did gain some equilibrium as the defense stiffened with Tyrese Reid and Ryan Kendra making nice plays to break up passes from quarterback Jay Sisko (3-9, 48 yards, 1 TD).

But with the Tribe offense deep in its own territory, defensive lineman Michael Dickey intercepted a screen pass at the 16 and rumbled to a touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 56 seconds left in the first quarter.

            Two minutes into the second quarter, Sisko picked up a first down on a fourth down quarterback sneak and on the next play handed the ball to Faison who broke several tackles enroute to a 41-yard touchdown.

            Upper Perk, which had managed only one first down in the first quarter, put together a drive that resulted in Ryan Casola's 28-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 28-3. The big play on the march was a 49-yard pass from Tyler Keyser to Trevor Stephen.

            Pottsgrove capitalized on an interception by Bailey Delp, who returned the ball to the Tribe's eleven, when Faison waltzed across the goal line on the next play for a 35-3 lead.

Near the end of the half, Tyler Whary broke a 30-yard run, Kendra caught a 22-yard pass from Keyser, who then ran nine-yards on the next play. From the three, Keyser (11-23 137 yards, TD, 2 INT) connected with Bo Duka for a TD.

            The second half began a lot like the first. Faison sprinted 61 yards to the end zone on Pottsgrove's first play from scrimmage.

            But a funny thing happened on the way to a running clock: Upper Perk took over the game.

            Kendra returned the kickoff to the Upper Perk 46 before runs by Keyser (eight yards), Whary (19), and Austin Tutolo (11) placed the ball at the Falcon two. Keyser ran it in from there.

The defense held on downs at the Tribe 26 and Upper Perk drove down the field again cashing in with Tutolo's 22-yard run to make the score 42-24.  "Tutolo has been a force all season," Hontz said.

            Pottsgrove's defense came into the game allowing only 6.7 points per game and was ranked first in Eastern Pennsylvania, and Upper Perk's burst generated some optimism from Hontz.

            "We put together some nice drives against a very good defensive team," said the coach, "so, we've got something to hang our hat on."

            The Falcons finally counterpunched on a 31-yard TD pass from Sisko to 6'4 Desmond Austin who simply out-jumped 5'5 Tyrese Reid at the goal line.

            In the fourth quarter, after a short UP punt, Faison broke a tackle at Upper Perk's 38 and raced untouched the rest of the way for a 50-yard TD to cap the scoring for the night.

            Faison, headed to Stony Brook for college, accounted for all but 96 yards of Pottsgrove's total offense. Whary led the Upper Perk rushing attack with 89 yards on 12 carries.


 

 

 

 

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