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Duka Making Most of Opportunity for Indians
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2018-09-06

            Malachi Duka isn't sure how long his time as Upper Perkiomen's featured running back will last. However, the sophomore is determined to make the most of

Indians defenseman Own Reinert, at right, stares down a

fumbled ball as he prepares to pounce on it after it was 

stripped from the Kutztown ball-carrier in Friday night's

home game.

the opportunity.

            "Whatever happens, I'm OK with it," Duka said.

            Last week, his steady running led the team to a 34-0 victory over Kutztown. Duka finished with 100 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder added three catches for 19 yards and a touchdown. 

            "I thought I ran pretty good north and south," Duka said.

            Tyler Weber completed 12-of-17 passes for 117 yards and two scores for the Indians (1-1) in the non-league win on Aug. 31. Collin Funk caught a team-high three passes for 30 yards.

            Max Kratowhill scored twice, including an eight-yard interception return for a touchdown that highlighted a solid defensive performance.

            While an ankle injury continued to keep junior Tyrese Reed out of the lineup, running mostly between the tackles, Duka is averaging 116 yards in two games for the Indians. 

            "Malachi has been tremendous," head coach Tom Hontz said. "He's very intelligent, knows all the plays. He doesn't have breakaway speed, but knows where to hit the holes."

            Upper Perkiomen's offense dominated the line of scrimmage. The unit rolled up 340 total yards and 22 first downs. Running behind fullback Luke Whary, Duka gashed the Cougars for eight carries of six yards or more.

            In the air, Weber worked the flat against Kutztown, which played a three-deep zone. He completed passes to Kratowhill, Andrew Carducci, Whary and Duka.

            On its first possession, the unit converted a pair of fourth downs on the way to a touchdown. Whary's 27-yard-run catch and run on fourth-and-11 near midfield highlighted the drive. Duka's 4-yard TD run midway through the first quarter capped it.

            "We need to show we could convert on fourth down and keep the chains moving," Hontz said.

            Kratowhill's pick-six came on the final play of the quarter came three plays after an Indians turnover. He caught a pass from Kuztown quarterback Josh Worman in the right flat and ran untouched into the end zone.

            Late in the second quarter, Kratowhill added an offensive touchdown. He hooked up with Weber on a 12-yard TD reception to open a 21-0 halftime lead.  Upper Perkiomen capped the scoring with a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Midway through the fourth, Duka reached the end zone on a 10-yard catch.

            Jose Vera delivered the final score, on a 17-yard run, with 2:20 remaining. Vera, a freshman listed at 5-foot-5, 133 pounds, ran for 50 yards on seven carries during the series.

"Jose has some wheels," Hontz said.

            Owen Rinehart recovered a fumble and Carducci posted and interception for the Indians. Mark Naples added a quarterback sack.

            "We have to keep on improving," said Hontz, whose team travels to Upper Moreland on Friday night for a non-league game. "We made too many mental errors."


 

 

 

 

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