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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Football Gets Win in Rout of Kutztown
Written by Staff Writer

Elijah Wadsworth, a senior midfielder, deflects a pass for Upper Perkiomen on Sept. 2. The team lost 3-0 to visiting Palisades.

        One of the questions heading into this past Friday night's home opener against Kutztown was the run game.

        A week ago, Upper Perkiomen's starting backfield was sidelined in the second half of the season-opening loss at Boyertown. Tailback Austin Tutolo ended up with a broken finger and a sprained ankle, while fellow junior fullback Tyler Whary was out with cramps.

        So, just how would the Indians respond without Tutolo in the lineup, and Whary getting the nod at tailback?

         Quite well, apparently.

        Whary finished with 185 yards and a touchdown to pace Upper Perk to a 44-20 victory over the Cougars. He also helped out by pulling in the first score, a 29-yard aerial three minutes into the first quarter.

        "Whary is just a powerful back who was very anxious to get the ball," Upper Perk Head Coach Tom Hontz said. "He has enough speed to go with the power and also catches the ball very well. That combination makes him very dangerous. If we can keep him on the field, we feel we have an elite, go-to running back."

        Speedy freshman Tyrese Reid helped shoulder the load as he rushed six times for 73 yards, including a 73-yard scoring run early in the fourth to cap Upper Perk's scoring.

        "Tyrese showed us a flash of the speed that we've been lacking," Hontz said of the 5-foot-6, 125-pound back.

            In the air, Upper Perk's offense was equally as effective as the ground game. Senior quarterback Zeke Hallman finished 6 of 7 for 90 yards and 4 TDs; his only incompletion a very questionable call on a throw to Ryan Kendra in the end zone. Junior receiver Tyler Keyser led the scoring with three touchdowns.

        Defensively, Upper Perk held the Cougars to 185 yards of total offense as the visitors dropped their 41st straight game. Kutztown scored in the second half with the mercy clock running and substitutions made liberally as they scored on a 9-yard run, 90-yard punt return and a 69-yard option.

        Kendra pulled down a pair of picks from his spot at safety, and senior linebacker Dylan Reinford had a sack, and fellow backer Trevor Stephen recovered a fumble. Nick Benner and Aidan Rowles, meanwhile, both tallied tackles for a loss. Special teams got a boost when Kutztown's center snapped the ball out of the end zone on a punt deep in its own territory for a safety.

        "It was nice to get a solid win and to get all of our guys on the field with some significant playing time," Hontz said. "We can still execute better, but we will take the win."

        With the first win under their collective belts, Upper Perk (1-1) will set its sights on tomorrow night's away game at Upper Moreland. A member of the Suburban One American Conference, the Golden Bears beat William Tennent 7-0 in their opener before falling to Phoenixville, 33-19, last Friday in a game plagued by turnovers.

        Upper Moreland has experience in senior quarterback Casey Decker, who passed for 949 yards and 10 TDs, and rushed for another 400 yards, last season as a junior. Running back Sterlan Barr Jr. is solid, and the pair are a 1-2 punch in the backfield. Last season, Upper Moreland went 10-3, winning two playoff games.

        "The Upper Moreland game will be a great test," Hontz said. "There are two very competent, evenly-matched teams battling it out. We need to be disciplined on both sides of the ball, win the turnover battle and hopefully stay healthy. These are the type of games we've been looking forward to and shows the benefit of the new schedule. It should be a very entertaining game."






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