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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Posts Homecoming Win Over OJR
Written by Town and Country Staff Report

Upper Perk's Jake Pirri, playing at linebacker, pulls the Owen J. Roberts ball carrier to the ground in Friday night's game at home. 

                It wasn't easy for Upper Perkiomen head football coach Tom Hontz to pinpoint one play, individual or moment that was key to last Friday night's 27-20 homecoming win over Owen J. Roberts.

                When it came down to it, there were just too many plays, individuals and moments to pick from.

                "It was just a total team effort," Hontz said. "It's nice having contributions from seniors like Wyatt Brumm and Jake Pirri, down to a sophomore like Zeke Hallman and a freshman like Ryan Kendra."

                One of the main culprits behind the homecoming win – Upper Perk's first since 2010 – was Michael Felix. The junior made his presence felt on both sides of the ball as he piled up 190 yards and two scores on 22 carries. On defense, he was a wrecking ball at safety, where he came up to the line of scrimmage to figure in on a handful of tackles.

                Felix was paced in the backfield by Somky Akpunonu, who finished with 84 yards on six carries as the Indians' (2-4, 2-5) offense picked up 282 yards on the ground. Offensive linemen up front who paved the way included center Dustin Derstine, guards Dylan Croissette and Mahlon Schaffer, tackles Mitch Fretz and Michael Knudson and tight end Owen Leister.

                In the air, Hallman finished 7 of 11 for 121 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His favorite target, Brumm, caught three passes for 75 yards and one score. Kendra hauled in two passes for 24 yards and one touchdown, and Pirri had two catches for 22 yards.

                On the other side of the ball, the contributions were similarly spread out. Sylvester Inyang notched a sack to go along with a tackle for a loss in one of his bigger games, as sophomore linebacker Dylan Reinford and Mark Saucedo each tallied a half-sack. Special teams got a big boost as Leister blocked a 31-yard field goal that would have given the Wildcats (1-4, 1-6) its only lead of the evening.

                "Defensively, it was tough losing Kevin Loose to injury (ankle), but the team rallied when they needed to," Hontz said. "The blocked field goal by Owen Leister was big and kept the momentum on our side."

                Leister's block put an end to an OJR drive that spanned nearly the entire third quarter. Upper Perk answered right back as Felix ran for his second score of the game, this time from 25 yards out, to put the Indians in front, 20-14. But the Wildcats came right back, using all but two minutes of the contest to mount a scoring drive that tied things up after the extra point went wide.

                In the pivotal drive, Felix covered 51 of the 65 yards on the ground. Once inside the red zone, Hallman found Kendra in the front corner of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown with 34 ticks left.

                "The game as a whole was an important step just from the mental aspect that we had to believe we could win a game like this," Hontz said.

                Upper Perk opened the scoring as Brumm hauled in a 36-yard strike in the first quarter. Felix's first score came in the second frame as he weaved his way into the end zone from 12 yards out.

                The Indians will look to take the momentum into a Saturday afternoon game at Pottstown at 2 p.m. The Trojans (2-5) feature the Pioneer Athletic Conference's fourth leading rusher in Gary Wise, who has 132 carries for 560 yards and eight touchdowns. Pottstown is coming off a 35-7 loss to Pottsgrove.


                Upper Perk's last homecoming win came in the 2010 season as the Tribe beat Phoenixville, 28-21, under then head coach Keith Leamer. … Felix is currently the league's seventh leading rusher with 358 yards on 50 carries, and Akpunonu is 11th with 43 carries for 298 yards.






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