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Sports Article
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Quakertown Shuts Out Upper Perk in Season Opener
Written by Town and Country Staff Report


Indian fullback Tyler Whary carries the ball in a first quarter drive as Quakertown defensive lineman Chris Curry dives for a tackle from behind in Friday's game at Upper Perk.

        At first glance, Upper Perkiomen's 41-0 loss to Quakertown this past Friday night looked very similar to last year's season-opener against the Panthers.

        In 2014, remember, Quakertown hosted Upper Perk in a game played at Souderton High School due to the renovation of the Panthers' stadium. In that game, Quakertown won 38-0 to kick off a campaign that included a run in the District 1-AAAA playoffs and just one loss.

        Upper Perk's stats in those two contests were similar; nine first down last Friday night compared to four in 2014, and 126 total offensive yards close to the Indians' total of 84 last year.

        But, according to Upper Perk head coach Tom Hontz, the numbers don't tell the whole story.

        "Quakertown is a very good team," Hontz said, a Quakertown alum, "but I felt we made a much better showing than last year despite the score. We moved the ball, and made tackles and swarmed to the ball better than last year."

        Upper Perk's first offensive drive showcased some of that improvement. After taking the opening kickoff, running backs Tyler Whary and Mike Felix provided a formidable 1-2 punch that led a push deep into Panther territory. But the march fizzled out from there as Upper Perk missed a fourth-down conversion and Quakertown cashed in on its first offensive series.

        The Indians moved the ball into Quakertown's red zone two more times, but came up empty, getting as close as the Panthers' 4-yard line.

        "We still made too many mistakes to compete with a team like Quakertown," Hontz said. "One missed assignment, a dropped pass, an overthrow – these little things were the difference between being a much more competitive game."

        Whary led Upper Perk with 45 yards on eight carries and was also a force at linebacker. Felix lugged the ball 12 times for 28 yards and Austin Tutulo had four carries for 19 yards. Felix also pulled in three passes that spanned 19 yards, and sophomore Ryan Kendra led the team in receiving with three catches for 24 yards.

        Upper Perk's defense was paced by a seven-tackle outing from senior linebacker Jake Votta, and fellow senior Austin Bittenbender made six stops to go along with an interception. Felix and Dylan Reinford had five tackles apiece, and Dylan Croissette and Tyler Smith both had four each. Josh Engdahl made three tackles to go along with the team's first sack of the year.

        Quakertown, meanwhile, piled up 405 total yards, taking a 7-0 lead after the first quarter and a 20-0 margin into halftime. Three touchdowns in the third quarter made the game completely out of reach to account for the six-score differential.

        Upper Perk's home opener was played in front of a packed house. Quakertown's visitors' bleachers were filled to capacity, with the home bleachers full as well, with a large contingent around the perimeter of the field's fence. The line to get in stretched out to where the opposing team's buses park, and those in line at kickoff didn't make it in until the second quarter.

        Perhaps the good news for Upper Perk is it will open the Pioneer Athletic Conference portion of its schedule against a Boyertown team that faced a similar fate in week one. The Bears were roughed up last week, 45-6, at Exeter as Boyertown mustered 34 yards of total offense. Exeter scored on the first play from scrimmage and added a field goal before the Bears got on the board with a 95-yard kickoff return from Dan Heller.

        Boyertown features a very mobile quarterback in Lawrence Garnett, who rushed for 665 yards last season and threw for 554. Kickoff will be tomorrow night at Boyertown High School at 7 p.m. Last season, the 29-15 loss to the Bears was one that bothered the Indians all season as Upper Perk took a 15-14 lead into half before the visitors reeled off 14 unanswered points.

        "Boyertown also faced a very good team in Exeter," Hontz said. "They had many of the same difficulties we did. This should make for an interesting mach-up Friday night. The team that executes best will be the one that comes out on top."







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