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Turnovers Haunt Indians in Loss to Upper Moreland
Written by Jake Hallman, Correspondent
2019-09-11

            On paper, it looked like a competitive, non-league matchup of two, relatively young teams ready to make an impact statement early into the season.

            But when host Upper Perkiomen lined up against Upper Moreland last

Upper Perk Quarterback Hunter Flack gets off a pass 

agains Upper Moreland in Friday night's 26-0 loss. 

Friday night, all those prognostications and projections didn't mean a whole lot. No, Upper Moreland, who came into the game with a strong passing attack, instead went to the ground and pound, piling up over 300 yards rushing en route to a 26-0 victory. On the other side of the ball the visitors were just as dominant, holding Upper Perk (1-2) to a total of 65 yards, the majority of which came through the air.

            The Indians certainly didn't help themselves, either, as they turned the ball over seven times (three in the first half and four in the second). Of Upper Perk's four drives in the first half, two ended on turnovers and two were three-and-outs. The second half didn't prove any kinder, as four of the offense's eight drives turned the ball over to go along with a pair of three-and-out drives.

            "We made some errors and never could get on track offensively," Indians head coach Tom Hontz said. "I thought defensively we fought valiantly, but eventually they just wore us down. It's hard to compete when you have six or seven turnovers and only get to run a handful of plays."     

            That aforementioned defense managed to keep Upper Moreland (3-0) to a two-score, 12-0, lead at the half. In the third and fourth quarters, almost half of the Golden Bears' drives started in Upper Perk territory, which made tough work for the defense.

            Senior interior lineman Jaden Fisher led the defense with a sack and a pair of tackles for a loss. Trey Robinson broke up a pair of passes from his spot at safety, and senior linebacker Owen Reinhart was especially busy as he led the team in tackles. Sophomore linebacker Brady Thompson, senior Andrew Carducci and junior Malachi Duka all chipped in with a tackle for a loss apiece.

            Offensively, Upper Perk was paced by quarterback Hunter Flack's five carries for 21 yards, as Duka (five receptions, 41 yards) led both teams in receiving.

            "Obviously, we need to protect the ball, but we also need to regain our confidence and play with some offensive aggressiveness," Hontz said. "As they say at times like this, perhaps the best thing we can do is simplify things and just work on the basics."

            Upper Perk will turn its attention to Fleetwood Friday in another non-league home game against an undefeated opponent. The Tigers are 3-0 with convincing wins over Lehighton (58-14), Conrad Weiser (27-14) and Twin Valley (46-28). They're currently tied with rival Wyomissing for the top spot in the Berks Intercounty 2 League.

            Last season, the Indians saw a third quarter lead vanish as Fleetwood scored 10 points in the final quarter to claim a 21-14 win. Tyrese Reid, then a junior, had a monster game on offense and special teams in the loss. Reid, who has not dressed the past two games, will hopefully be able to play on at least one side of the ball to spell other players, Hontz said.

            "Fleetwood has some exceptional athletes," Hontz said. "They are building a confident program. Offensively, they do some things very similar to Upper Moreland. Hopefully, our offense can get some traction and we can sustain drives against their defense."


 

 

 

 

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