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Sports Article
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Whary Comes up Big in Win over Pottstown
Written by Staff Report

Upper Perk's Tyler Whary breaks free of the Pottstown defense as he carries the ball towards the end zone in Saturday's game at Pottstown.

        It doesn't take long for Tyler Whary to make a first impression on the football field.

        When carrying the ball, the Upper Perkiomen junior is a bruising runner whose lowered shoulder leaves a trail of defenders in his wake. At linebacker, that same lowered shoulder makes quick work of ball carriers in the backfield.

        One trait that goes unnoticed for Whary is his speed. But all that changed in Saturday's PAC Frontier Division game at Pottstown in the first quarter. On Upper Perk's third offensive drive, Whary took the handoff off tackle, then outran Pottstown's secondary en route to a 66-yard touchdown to open up the scoring.

        The score was one of four scores for Whary, who rushed 22 times for 196 yards (49 yards more than Pottstown's total offense) and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season. His effort helped the Indians to a 43-16 victory, avenging a loss to Pottstown a year ago.

        Freshman Tyrese Reid also got into the scoring action as he spun at the line of scrimmage and darted his way to the end zone from 14 yards out in the second half. The play was set up by a 28-yard run from Aidan Rowles, who used a big stiff arm for extra yardage.

        Trevor Stephen accounted for the other score, an 11-yard pass from Zeke Hallman, who tied the school record for passing touchdowns in a season as he tossed his 22nd. He is now tied with Bill Gebert, who accomplished the feat in 1966 on the way to a Bux-Mont championship.

        "Weather was a bit of a factor, and we had a few mental lapses, but we were able to recover quickly and capitalize on their errors to gain a solid victory over a team that defeated us last year," Indians head coach Tom Hontz said.

        Pottstown (1-4, 2-7) fumbled the ball seven times, four of which were turned over, and yielded a safety on a punt as an errant snap sailed out of the end zone. The Trojans finished with 147 total yards of offense, 124 of which came from Larry Wingo, and no passing yards.

        Stephen had a big day at linebacker for the Indians. The junior had three tackles for a loss and a hard hit on punt teams. Rowles, Ryan Kendra and Dalton Fabiani and Nick Benner all came up with fumble recoveries. Hontz said the defense has benefitted from competition and the emphasis of swarming to the ball. Over the past three weeks, the defense has moved up to the 10th spot in the league, yielding 343 yards per game.

        The win marked Upper Perk's second straight to improve its record to 4-1 in the division, 5-4 overall. Pottsgrove, though falling to Pope John Paul this past weekend, clinched the division with a 4-1 record.

        Hontz said it has been the little things that have helped his team improve and earn a spot in the Class 4A playoffs, where they are likely to meet up against Pottsgrove again.

        "The team as a whole has learned that we need to be intense all the time, from the break of the huddle, to sprinting to the line of scrimmage, to firing off the ball and finally the need to continue to work until the whistle blows," Hontz said. "The effort of my staff to remind the players of that day in and day out at practice is starting to pay dividends."

        Upper Perk will honor its seniors at the final home game of the year tomorrow night at 7 p.m. against Spring-Ford. The game is a crossover game between the larger-school Liberty Division and the smaller-school Frontier Division. Division leaders Pottsgrove and Perkiomen Valley will play for the league title, and second-place Spring-Ford and Upper Perk will square off. The Rams are 4-1, 7-2 overall and are fresh off a 58-0 shutout of Owen J. Roberts.

        Spring-Ford has posted two straight shutouts and has outscored opponents 110-0 in that span. The Rams held the No. 10 spot in the state's largest 6A bracket, where the top 16 teams qualify for district playoffs. Matt Gibson is the team's leading rusher with 678 yards, while Selwyn Simpson is their goal-line threat with 479 yards and 16 scores. Quarterback TJ Pergine has thrown for 1,717 yards this season and 23 touchdowns.

        "The Spring-Ford game offers us a chance to see if we have made enough improvements to at least compete with the big boys," Hontz said. "Despite the fact that the game has little meaning, and the fact that we will be gearing up for the playoffs the following week – we are still going to go at them at full force and see what the outcome is.

        "They are a very sophisticated offensive and defensive team and have a great deal of talent and depth, but right now we want to see how our game plays against them."






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