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Simmon Comes up Big for Upper Perk in Loss to Bears
Written by Jake Hallman, Correspondent
2019-08-28

            Just about everyone who was interested in Friday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference season opener between Boyertown and Upper Perkiomen figured the key

Upper Perk sophmore Logan Simmon breaks through the

line on his way to 15 carries for 262 yards in the loss to

Boyertown.

for the Indians would be the health of senior running back Tyrese Reid.

            Turns out they were both right and wrong.

            Reid, who garnered plenty of attention from Boyertown's defense while on the field, left the game early in the second quarter as he pulled up short with an ankle injury. What no one expected was how well sophomore Logan Simmon filled the shoes of Reid.

            The 5-foot-8, 158-pounder led all rushers with 15 carries for 262 yards and three touchdowns as the Indians fell to Boyertown, 35-27, at home. He also caught a pair of passes for 14 yards and played a hand on the defensive effort, including a big hit on the home sidelines that leveled a Boyertown ball carrier.

            Simmon, who attended Perkiomen School last year, quietly piled up the yardage on scores of 65, 65 and 64 yards, respectively, in the first and second quarters. He amassed 250 of his 262 yards at half and helped the Indians (0-1) outpace the Bears (1-0) 428-409 in total offensive yardage.

            "It is disappointing that we can't seem to keep Tyrese on the field, he might have been able to change the outcome of that game, but we knew Logan would be able to carry the load when he went out," said Indians head coach Tom Hontz. "He has been an outstanding worker all camp and in the scrimmage and we had total confidence in his ability. We are lucky to have him and Trey Robinson, who also did a nice job in the backfield as well."

            Defensively, Upper Perk was able to force three fumbles, two of which they recovered, to go along with one interception. Solid play came from senior linebacker Owen Rinehart (tackle for a loss), Malachi Duka (interception, forced fumble), Ethan Wambold (tackle for a loss), Corey Jackson (fumble recovery), Riley Decker (tackle for a loss), and fellow defensive lineman Jaden Fisher.

            Boyertown trailed one-point, 14-13, after the first quarter, but took a 28-27 advantage into halftime.

            In the second half, Upper Perk threatened to take the lead on its first offensive series as junior quarterback Hunter Flack hooked up with Andrew Carducci on the home sideline to the visitors' 2-yard line. But that's as far as the Indians could move the ball, and its field goal attempt failed.

"We just couldn't stop shooting ourselves in the foot," Hontz said. "Small errors, special team mistakes. Those were the differences. We also seemed to lose a little bit of gas in the second half, but we still stood toe to toe with them and had a shot. When you consider the number of kids we had on the field who were playing their first high school football game and the fact that we had to play without Reid and Brady Thompson, I was pretty proud of the effort."

            Boyertown's one-point lead held up until late in the fourth quarter until the Bears went on a 65-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Jonathan Myers capped off the series with a 16-yard run touchdown with 2:10 left that proved the difference. Upper Perk had a chance to tie it up after returning the ensuing kickoff to the 50, but an offensive pass interference call thwarted that effort.

            Flack opened the scoring on the Indians' first drive as he ran in the option from five yards out to give Upper Perk a 7-0 lead halfway into the first quarter. Flack finished 12 of 25 for 140 yards with one pick. His favorite target Malachi Duka pulled in four passes for 77 yards.

            Boyertown tied it up with a 90-yard kickoff return on the ensuing kickoff, as Jamie Moccia needed 13 seconds to make the run. Simmon answered with his first score, a 65-run on a counter down the right sideline. The kick was blocked, and Upper Perk led 13-7 with 7:41 left in the first quarter.

            After fumbling away its next drive, Boyertown cashed in on a 53-yard passing touchdown from Noah Segal to Connor Rohrbach to account for the Bears' 14-13 first-quarter lead.

            Second-half scoring included a 20-yard pass from Segal to Roman Marinello, followed by two touchdown runs of 64 yards by Simmons. Marinello's three-yard score with 2:48 in the third quarter gave Boyertown its 28-27 lead heading into the final quarter.

            Upper Perk will travel to Kutztown High School tomorrow night to tangle with the Cougars at 7 p.m. Kutztown dropped its opener to Reading Area High School, 57-9 last week. Kutztown is coming off an 0-10 campaign in 2018 in which it was shut out nine times and outscored 512-12, including a 34-0 loss to Upper Perk.

"We need to clean up the special teams and become more sound in our tackling," Hontz said. "We are just focusing on the basics this week as we gear up for a team which has some athletes and wants to win as much as we do."


 

 

 

 

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