Bears drop opener to Up­per Perk

The Boyertown Area Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Sam Ste­wart sstew­art@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Sa­muel_Ste­wart7 on Twit­ter

RED HILL » After break­ing two for­get­table los­ing streaks in one night, Up­per Perkiomen will need to find a new one to snap.

A new con­quest wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily on the mind of Indians’ Ryan Ken­dra or Austin Tu­tolo, they were just elated to fi­nally down the big­gest thorn in Up­per Perkiomen’s side for the past decade.

Ken­dra’s two in­ter­cep­tions cou­pled with the in­cen­di­ary speed of Tyrese Reid in the back­field was enough for Up­per Perkiomen to fi­nally pro­pel it­self over bor­der­ing ri­val Boy­er­town, de­feat­ing the Bears 42-21 in the 60th clash be­tween the two ri­vals.

The win snaps two long los­ing streaks for Up­per Perkiomen. It marked the first vic­tory over Boy­er­town since Thanks­giv­ing Day of 2009 (24-17) and the first open­ing-week vic­tory since 2010, a thrilling 49-35 vic­tory over Muh­len­berg. See­ing the Boy­er­town streak end, how­ever, was the only mat­ter of con­cern for an Indians’ squad that ded­i­cates off­sea­son pro­grams and train­ing camps to down­ing their neigh­bor­ing foe.

“We were so pumped up for this game,” Ken­dra said. “I re­mem­ber when this game would be 50 days away, we were count­ing down. Fi­nally, it was here and we did our jobs and got the win.”

“It was a hell of a job by the whole team,” said se­nior run­ning back Tu­tolo. “Ev­ery sin­gle per­son did their job tonight. Coach (Hontz) said there wasn’t one sin­gle star. We all played our part, peo­ple stepped in when needed. It was great.”

A col­lec­tion of stars char­ac­ter­izes it ad­e­quately.

Se­nior wide re­ceiver turned-quar­ter­back Tyler Keyser shined in his first game un­der cen­ter since eighth grade, throw­ing for 122 yards on a 10-for-14 ef­fort with three touch­downs. He con­nected with fel­low se­nior Ken­dra in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard strike to kick off the scor­ing four min­utes into the game be­fore find­ing doit-all back Tyler Whary for a 35-yard score min­utes later to make it 14-0. His con­nec­tion with Trevor Stephen on a 1-yard dump on fourth and goal put the cap­per on a top-to-bot­tom ef-

fort from the boys in blue and gold.

“The con­nec­tion is still there,” Ken­dra said of his on-the-field re­la­tion­ship with Keyser. “He’s a hell of an ath­lete. He can run, he has a big arm. He hasn’t missed a step since eighth grade.”

Ken­dra’s day wasn’t just high­lighted by a touch­down in the first quar­ter. A cor­ner­back on de­fense, Ken­dra came up with two crit­i­cal in­ter­cep­tions, the first de­flat­ing Boy­er­town’s come­back hopes as he stepped in front of a pass from fel­low co­worker Ay­den Mathias in­tended for bas­ket­ball team­mate Jerry Kapp and raced 65 yards the other way for the pick-six to make it 35-13 late in the third.

“I know both of those guys, so I didn’t want them to show me up,” Ken­dra said. “I played my role, did what I could to pick it off.”

Boy­er­town’s loss was a sour end­ing for the de­but of new head coach TJ Miller. The Bears kept the game within reach through­out the ma­jor­ity, trail­ing 21-13 at the end of the half fol­low­ing a Kapp 22-yard touch­down pass to Kevin O’Con­nor. How­ever, Ken­dra’s pick-six put the Bears in a hole they couldn’t dig them­selves out of. Mathias con­nected with O’Con­nor again for a 17-yard strike to make it 35-21 early in the open­ing min­utes of the fourth but an in­ter­cep­tion by Ken­dra on a Mathias pass in­tended for Kapp in the cor­ner of the end zone ended a valiant come­back at­tempt.

Mathias fin­ished with 112 pass­ing yards and two scores. Run­ning back Marcus Thomas led the way on the ground with 128 yards on 24 car­ries with O’Con­nor fin­ish­ing with 115 yards re­ceiv­ing and three touch­downs on four re­cep­tions. Both Thomas and O’Con­nor left the field with some take­aways for next week.

“We didn’t come out as phys­i­cal as we wanted to at the be­gin­ning of the game,” O’Con­nor said. “We have to be ready and en­er­gized for kick­off.”

“I think it was a good learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Thomas said. “We were shown that it’s not go­ing to be easy and we’re go­ing to have to work su­per hard to beat teams. At least we set that stan­dard of what we need to do now.

After miss­ing last year’s game after be­ing on va­ca­tion, Up­per Perkiomen’s Reid had a ma­jor im­pact in Fri­day night’s game rush­ing for 119 yards on nine at­tempts. His 49-yard run in the sec­ond quar­ter set up Tu­tolo from 2-yards out to make it 21-7.

“They weren’t ready for him (Reid),” Tu­tolo said. “He stepped up and made a nice im­pact for the team. Good job, buddy.”

“I had to make a come­back,” Reid added. “I was do­ing track all sum­mer.”

NOTES » Up­per Perkiomen out-gained the Bears 343-297. Up­per Perkiomen didn’t punt, each drive end­ing in a touch­down or in­ter­cep­tion. UP kicker Ryan Ca­sola made all six ex­tra points . ... Whary fin­si­hed with 43 yards on 10 car­ries and added 45 yards re­ceiv­ing on two re­cep­tions. ... Tu­tolo fin­ished with two touch­downs and 51 yards on nine car­ries.


Up­per Perkiomen’s Tyrese Reid shoves away a Boy­er­town would-be tack­ler dur­ing the first half of the Indians’ 42-21 vic­tory over Boy­er­town. The win snapped a seven-game los­ing streak to their bor­der­ing ri­val.


Boy­er­town’s Marcus Thomas is tack­led by a group of Up­per Perkiomen de­fend­ers last Fri­day.

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