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Pottsgrove Pulls Away in Fourth to Spoil Homecoming
Written by Jake Hallman, Correspondent
2019-10-09

      For three-and-a-half quarters, Upper Perkiomen's football team gave visiting Pottsgrove everything it could handle in last Friday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference

Upper Perk defensemen Ethan Wambold and Brady Thompson attempt to recover

a fumble early in first quarter action on Friday night.

Frontier Division contest.

      In front of a homecoming crowd, the Indians took a one-point deficit into halftime and kept the game a one-score affair with four minutes left in regulation and the ball on their own 12-yard line. But the comeback fell short as Upper Perk turned the ball over on four downs and the Falcons used the favorable field position to tack on a late score that resulted in the 21-6 final.

      "We had a good defensive game plan and actually had a few opportunities on offense, but unfortunately fell short," said Indians head coach Tom Hontz. "The lack of speed which we had from Tyrese (Reid) and Logan (Simmon) was a real difference maker on Friday. They had just a little more athleticism. Physically, we stood up to them, despite the significant size difference. I was proud of the effort."

      As expected, the Falcons (2-1, 3-4) leaned heavily on the legs of league-leading rusher Isaiah Taylor, who piled up 153 yards on 28 carries and three scores. He accounted for 89 percent of Pottsgrove's offense, amassing all but 17 yards of the offense's total output. The Falcons also had to contend with its share of miscues as it fumbled six times, losing two, to go along with an interception and eight penalties for 80 yards.

      Hunter Flack, seeing his first action on defense this year, came up with the interception late in the fourth quarter, and was aided in the secondary by solid play from Malachi Duka. Xavier Berrios aided the effort with a sack of Falcons quarterback Ryan Sisko.

      The Flack to Duka combination also turned out to be a key part of the Indians' (0-3, 1-6) offense, as Flack (15 of 27, 167 yards, TD, int) found Duka for over half of his completions. Duka led all receivers with eight catches for 120 yards, including Upper Perk's lone score; a six-yard pass with four ticks left before half.

      "Malachi was all over the place both offensively and defensively," Hontz said. "He's a real competitor and a quiet leader who just leads by example through his hard work and complete grasp of the game plan. He's one of our most mentally and physically tough players on the team."

      Upper Perk's ground game, meanwhile, struggled as the team combined for minus-35 yards rushing on 32 attempts. Trey Robinson finished as the team's leading rusher with six yards on seven carries.

      Up next for the Indians is Phoenixville, a divisional rival who is 2-5 overall, 1-2 in the PAC. The Phantoms were humbled last Friday in a 47-6 loss to Pope John Paul II in a game in which the Panthers passed and rushed for 200 yards. Phoenixville mustered 156 total yards of offense, led by Anthony Stevenson, who is in the top 10 of the league's leading rushers.

      Phantom quarterback Jack Pizor is also in the top 10, and has thrown for over 500 yards with six scores and five picks. Last season, Phoenixville dominated in a 49-0 rout.

      "We need to play a clean football game," Hontz said. "If we can eliminate the penalties and turnovers, we can compete with them."


 

 

 

 

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