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Sports Article
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OJR Rides Fast Start to Rout of Upper Perkiomen
Written by Staff Report

                This one didn't quite turn out the way many had envisioned, including Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz.

                No, Upper Perk's home Pioneer Athletic Conference clash against visiting Owen J. Roberts promised to be a back-and-forth, down-to-the-wire showdown between two teams with similar statistics on both sides of the ball. Promised on paper, that is.

                But when it came down to it, last Friday night's game didn't turn out to be all that close. OJR, a team that came into the game with an unassuming 2-3 record, jumped out to a three-touchdown lead in the first quarter. The Wildcats wouldn't relinquish that lead either, as they held on for a 37-6 victory.

                OJR wasted little time in grabbing the momentum. After Upper Perk (1-5) received the opening kickoff, the Wildcats forced a fumble on the Indians' first offensive play in their own red zone and later cashed in. Two other Indian drives were turned over to the Wildcats, who manufactured them into points. And the pre-game excitement exhibited by Upper Perk at the onset evaporated with the 23-0 deficit it faced at the half.

                "It is disappointing," Hontz said. "Disappointing for the kids, for the community and disappointing for our staff. We just are not executing, and physically we are at times being dominated. All we can do is go back to basics and continue to work on our toughness."

                The Wildcats (3-3) held a 17-7 first-down advantage and racked up 266 rushing yards as part of its 326-yard total. The visitors were, though, hampered by penalties as they were flagged 15 times for 125 yards. Upper Perk didn't help itself either in the penalty department as it was whistled eight times for 105 yards. Needless to say, the 23 combined penalties that covered 230 yards made for a long evening.

                While Upper Perk had its share of shortcomings, the team did have its bright spots as well. Hontz cited Austin Tutolo, Jake Votta and Tyler Keyser as players who he thought played hard throughout. Tutolo, a sophomore linebacker, had his best outing of the season as he made 10 total tackles, including one for a loss. Fellow senior backer Votta was also a force as he tallied six tackles and one for a loss. Keyser helped spark the offense in the third quarter as he tossed a 68-yard pass to Austin Bittenbender for Upper Perk's lone score in the third quarter.

                Unfortunately for Upper Perk, the competition won't get any easier as the team will travel to Pottstown Saturday for a 1 p.m. matinee. Pottstown, who had a total of three wins the previous two seasons, has been a team Upper Perk has competed with the past few seasons, including an Upper Perk 21-7 victory last year in Pottstown.

But times have changed. To date, the Trojans sport a 5-1 record, the second and third league-leading rushers and the PAC-10's third best defense.

                Brandon Tinson leads the Trojans' rushing attack with 621 yards on 77 handoffs for an 8.1-yard-per-carry average. Tinson holds the No. 2 spot just ahead of teammate Bryant Wise, who has 462 yards and five scores on 74 carries. As a team, the Trojans lead the league in rushing yardage with 1,578 yards.

                Defensively, the Trojans boast the league's best run defense, averaging just 87 yards a game and 521 yards through six games. They are third best overall, yielding an average 212 yards a game.

                "Pottstown is another improved team which has size, speed and toughness," Hontz said. "We have our work cut out for us."






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