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Sports Article
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Indians Gets Defensive Against Pottstown; Posts Second Straight Victory
Written by Town and Country Staff Report

Upper Perk receiver Ryan Kendra grabs a 35-yard pass out of the air between a pair of Pottstown defenders in Saturday's game at Pottstown. It was the only reception of the game for the freshman.

        Anyone who attended Saturday's game at Pottstown, or picked up the box score, could quickly ascertain that the Trojans' offense was able to move the ball.

        But once Pottstown got inside the red zone, well, that was a completely different story.

        Four times the Trojans threatened to score inside Upper Perk's 20-yard line. And all four times they were turned away, two of which were inside the 5-yard line.

        And that defensive effort, along with an offense that went over 300 yards and three scores, spurred Upper Perkiomen on to a 21-7 Pioneer Athletic Conference victory, the Tribe's second straight.

        Pottstown's offense finished with 345 total yards, 208 of which came through the air. But they were stymied in the first with good field position after Upper Perk turned the ball over on its first offensive touch. Right before the half, the Indians (3-4, 3-5) held on four downs at the Upper Perk 1-yard line.

        First-year Indian head coach Tom Hontz was quick to share the praise with his players and staff. Up front, Mahlon Schaffer had one of his bigger defensive games of the season, with solid play from Sylvester Inyang and Mitch Fretz. Linebackers Dylan Reinford and Owen Leister came up with big stops throughout and Mike Felix was his usual busy self.

        Austin Bittenbender helped out the effort as he picked off a pass (his third on the year) and knocked away another in the secondary. Hontz also credited the work of defensive coordinator Brian Peoples and linebackers coach Jake Engle.

        "Defensively, we played really well despite giving up some yardage," Hontz said. "We contained their running game and had a bend-but-don't-break approach when they went to more of a two-minute offense."

        Upper Perk's shutout bid held until 7:10 of the fourth quarter, when a four-yard run spoiled the effort. Pottstown, which averaged 163 yards coming into the game, was limited to 99.

        The Tribe scored twice in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead into halftime. Leister accounted for the first as he pulled in an 11-yard score from quarterback Zeke Hallman, who rolled to his left and threw across his body. Felix took his turn next as he took a trap off the left side 89 yards across the goal line later in the frame. He led all rushers with 19 carries for 165 yards.

        Austin Tutolo provided the third score on a heads-up toss pass in the third quarter. The freshman back looked like he was going to run for a first down, then pulled up and hit Jake Pirri in the end zone for a 16-yard score. Upper Perk was able to pile up 99 pass yards against the league's No. 1 pass defense that averages 61 yards per game.

        Pirri was the Tribe's leading receiver as he caught three passes for 42 yards. Freshman Ryan Kendra had one catch for 35 yards.

        "The win on Saturday was important, because both teams are trying to make that climb to respectability," Hontz said. "We needed to get it to prove to ourselves that the hard work is paying off."

        The Tribe will entertain Phoenixville tomorrow night in the team's last home game of the season. The Phantoms are 1-5, with its lone win against Pope John Paul II. Phoenixville has the league's 10th ranked offense, but features a respectable passing game behind Ian Brown (59 of 121, 703 yards, 5 TDs) and receiver Matt Palubinsky (27 receptions, 311 yards).


        Upper Perk's back-to-back wins were the first since 2011. … The last time the Indians won three straight games was during the 2006 season. In that year, Upper Perk opened with consecutive wins over William Allen, Spring-Ford and Phoenixville. Later that season the team went on a five-game streak to finish 7-2, 8-4 overall.






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