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Sports Article
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Upper Perk Shuts Out Pottstown on Senior Night
Written by Jake Hallman, Correspondent

            Upper Perk's 16 seniors took center stage moments befpre Friday night's

Pioneer Athletic Conference showdown against Frontier foe Pottstown. The delegation, along with their parents, were recognized at midfield during pre-game as part of the senior/parent recognition night festivities.

            And when the opening whistle sounded, those aforementioned seniors weren't quite ready to give up the spotlight.

            "The senior group is the heart and soul of the team," Indians head coach Tom Hontz said. "We really go by how they lead us. If they are loose, the team is loose. If they are sluggish, they all seem sluggish. They are a great group of talented players and each one of them plays an i mportant role in our success."

            Seniors on the squad include: Austin Tutolo, Ryan Kenra, Ryan Casola, Tyler Keyser, Brandon Martin, William Klinger, Joe Collazo, Kayleigh Durning, Bo Duka, Trevor Stephen, Tyler Whary, Nick Benner, John Miller, Roberto Rosado, Cole Fryer and Nico Liguoro.

            And while they seemed tame while introduced with their parents, they flipped the switch at the opening kickoff.

            Led by a dominant defense, Upper Perk rolled to a 33-0 victory over the Trojans (0-5, 1-8). The win pushed the Indians (4-1, 6-3) to the second spot in the division behind unbeaten Pottsgrove, and the third seed in the District 4A race behind the Falcons and Pope John Paul II.

            The defense was headed up by monster games from Fryer, Tutolo, Whary and Stephen. Fryer, in his most dominating outing on the defensive line, tallied three sacks (including a safety), as did Tutolo at defensive end. Stephen, meanwhile, spent most of the night from his spot at linebacker in the Trojans' backfield as he posted five tackles for a loss.

And Whary? Just to make sure brother Luke didn't have the family bragging rights in the pick-six department after notching one last week against PJP, Tyler ran back an interception 40 yards across the goal line to go along with a pair of tackles for a loss.

            Hontz was quick to share the effort with defensive coordinator Brian Peoples, and assistants Chris Bieler, Toby Cole, Dylan Croisette, Jake Engle, Jason Kulp, Vince Leskusky and Casey Perlstein.

            "The players are starting to show some natural instincts and better tackling form, which has helped," Hontz said. "We still need to bring down the bigger and faster backs like the fella from Pottsgrove, but I'm happy that we keep improving."

            On the other side of the ball, Upper Perk was just as prolific. Whary led all rushers as he lugged the ball 17 times for 149 yards and a score, as Tutolo finished with 49 yards on nine carries and Tyrese Reid ran six times for 33 yards.

            Keyser was an efficient 12 for 15 for 137 yards and a score, as Kendra was his favorite target, pulling down six passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. The kicking game got a boost from a 28-yard field goal from Casola, and a pair of extra-point kicks from Durning.

            Casola's boot opened the scoring on Upper Perk's first drive, thanks to a return to Pottstown's 45 from Tutolo, followed by a 10-yard pass to Kendra.

            The offense awoke in the second quarter as Whary ran 37 yards on a toss to the Trojans' 28. Keyser capped the drive later as he tucked a play-action pass, then spun his way for an eight-yard score.

            Upper Perk scored again on its next touch, aided by a 50-yard run on an option run by Keyser to the 5. Whary did the rest of the work from there, eventually bulling his way in from one yard out.

            The defense got in the scoring action with Fryer's safety in the end zone, and Kendra found his way there as well as he pulled in a 17-yard pass in the corner of the end zone. Whary's pick capped the scoring on Upper Perk's next defensive series.

            The Indians will close out the regular season this Friday with a crossover league game against Owen J. Roberts, the No. 2 squad in the Liberty Division. Last week, the Wildcats stunned Spring-Ford, 33-0.

            "We have a few injuries, but if we can get them back, we should be good to go," Hontz said. "We continue to see improvement in all aspects of the game and that's all you can ask."






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