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Sports Article
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Spring-Ford Pours it On in Win Over Tribe
Written by Town and Country, Staff Report

                Chalk this one up as a learning experience with a heavy dose of character building.

                Whatever one wants it call it, last Friday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference game between Upper Perkiomen and Spring-Ford wasn't pretty.

                The Rams, though graduating their entire defense from last season, showed their resiliency and depth as they cruised to a 62-7 home victory.

                Along the way, Spring-Ford's offense piled up 17 first downs and 439 yards of total offense as they took a 42-0 lead into halftime to put the mercy clock into motion for the entire second half.

                Upper Perk, to its credit, did show some promise early. After yielding a score to the Rams on their first offensive touch, Upper Perk's defense forced Spring-Ford into a three-and-out on their next drive.

                When Upper Perk got the ball back on their own 45, the Indians' offense strung together a handful of first downs to march deep into Spring-Ford territory. A defensive holding call on third down moved the ball to the Rams' 2-yard-line, but Upper Perk couldn't gain any ground from there on fourth down and turned the ball over.

                "We were knocking on the door, but we just couldn't get the ball into the end zone," said Indians head coach Tom Hontz. "Things kind of snowballed from there. We lost a lot of the fire we came out with, and their sideline really took the momentum from that point on."

                The Indians also had to deal with injuries. Junior running back and safety Michael Felix was limited to playing defense only as he is on the mend with a hand injury. Starters Owen Leister (hip) and Austin Orsini (hand) did not suit up for the game, Somky Akpunonu saw limited time as he rebounds from a sprained ankle and freshman running back Tyler Whary is sidelined after breaking his ankle earlier in the season in practice.

                Upper Perk did get a boost in the fourth quarter as both teams substituted freely. Freshman quarterback Tyler Keyser (3 of 4, 66 yards, TD) got the Tribe on the board as he hooked with fellow freshman Ryan Kendra for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Starting Indian sophomore quarterback Zeke Hallman finished 8 of 15 for 80 yards, and junior Jacob Breyer, who played in the second quarter, finished 3 of 8 for 20 yards.

                The Indians' pass-oriented approach saw Kendra (four catches, 60 yards) and senior Jake Pirri (four catches, 39 yards) finish with four receptions each. Pirri also led the Indians in rushing with three carries for 23 yards, and played a key role in the return game. Brandon Martin, Breyer, Austin Tutolo and Dylan Reinford all had one catch apiece to account for the Indians' 164 passing yards.

                The good news for Upper Perk is that the schedule will ease up a bit. The next three teams the Indians will face have a combined 4-14 record. Those opponents include Owen J. Roberts (1-5), Phoenixville (1-5) and Pottstown (2-4), respectively. Compare that to the previous four-week buzzsaw the Indians had to endure as three of the teams they faced in the past four weeks were ranked in the top half of the PAC-10 standings.

                Up next for Upper Perk is an Owen J. Roberts squad that was humbled by Pottsgrove last Friday, 48-12. The Wildcats' special teams took care of all of the scoring, with kickoff returns for scores from Khalili Spriggs (79 yards) and Brad Kinckner (81 yards).

                OJR likes to do the bulk of their offensive work on the ground, with Adam Pinelli leading the team with 261 yards on 62 carries. Quarterback Mitch Bradford is also a threat, as he has rushed 30 times for 175 yards. In the air, Bradford is 11 of 21 for 132 yards on the season.

                  Upper Perk is hoping to be healthier this week with the full return of Leister and Felix for the homecoming tilt.


                Akpunonu and Sylvester Inyang split a sack on defense of senior Ram quarterback Brandon Leacraft. … Former Upper Perk head coach Steve Moyer is now on staff as the Rams' quarterback coach.






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