Take A Stand

Moc­cia, Boy­er­town up­end Up­per Perk, 37-12

The Boyertown Area Times - - SPORTS - By Thomas Nash tnash@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Thomas_Nash10 on Twit­ter

BOY­ER­TOWN » Three months ago, the seat­ing in­fra­struc­ture at Boy­er­town High School’s BASH Memo­rial Field was deemed un­safe. The Boy­er­town faith­ful was there­fore forced to sit on what has typ­i­cally been the away side while the grand­stands re­main un­in­hab­ited.

No mat­ter, how­ever. The Bears fans had plenty of rea­sons to get up out of their seats.

Boy­er­town ran ram­pant over Up­per Perkiomen in both teams’ reg­u­lar sea­son opener, stack­ing up a com­bined 322 yards rush­ing on the way to a 37-12 win in a Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence di­vi­sional crossover matchup.

“That’s how we wanted to come out and start the year,” said sec­ond-year head coach TJ Miller. “The learn­ing curve is gone. This year it’s all about build­ing up that team unity to­gether.”

Run­ning back Jamie Moc­cia was the foun­da­tion of the big night. The ju­nior rushed for a ca­reer-high 190 yards with three touch­downs on 17 car­ries. He also pulled in one re­cep­tion — an un­der­neath route just be­fore the half from Ay­den Mathias that he turned into a 53-yard touch­down — where he show­cased the speed that earned him a fifth-place medal in the 100 me­ter dash at last year’s PIAA Cham­pi­onships.

“It just turned out to be my night, I guess,” said Moc­cia. “It wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily game-planned for me, but ev­ery­one around me did their jobs. I just got the points to show for it.”

“What­ever hair I have left is gonna go gray with some of the plays that he makes,” said Miller of Moc­cia. “He goes against con­ven­tional foot­ball, but we know he can carry the load for us. He re­ally earned this one for us.”

Mathis fin­ished with 65 yards pass­ing and an­other 53 on the ground.

The Bears opened up the first quar­ter with a me­thod­i­cal 16-play drive that took the first eight min­utes of the game, which played ex­actly to their game­plan.

“That’s triple-op­tion foot­ball,” said Miller. “If we can drive the ball 3½ yards ev­ery sin­gle play, we’ll take 3½ yards ev­ery sin­gle play. We were get­ting the matchups we liked in­side and were able to get the ball go­ing early.”

Mean­while, from the op­pos­ing side­line, Up­per Perk head coach Tom Hontz deemed that open­ing drive as ‘death by a thou­sand cuts.’

“We made solid con­tact on the line of scrim­mage, but they just kept driv­ing, picking up the three our four yards,” he said. “There was one elite ath­lete on the field and that was Moc­cia. He was the real dif­fer­ence maker.”

Moc­cia put the fin­ish­ing touches on four of Boy­er­town’s first five drives of the night, in­clud­ing touch­downs runs of six, 19 and 71 yards be­fore pulling in his lone re­cep­tion on the night as Boy­er­town held a 30-0 lead by the half.

Up­per Perk’s of­fense couldn’t get any­thing go­ing in the early stages while play­ing without re­turn­ing lead­ing rusher Tyrese Reid, side­lined with an an­kle in­jury.

The Tribe fin­ished with four turnovers on the night — three fum­bles dur­ing the first half where they were held to just 67 yards.

For the game, Malachi Duka stacked up 137 yards rush­ing and a touch­down on 19 car­ries. Tyler We­ber looked solid in his de­but be­hind cen­ter where he passed for 118 yards, in­clud­ing an eight-yard tip-drill catch by Collin Funk in the back of the end zone dur­ing the third quar­ter.

“Over­all I thought he man­aged the game pretty well,” said Hontz. “He had con­trol of the of­fense and that’s what we were look­ing for.”

An­drew Car­ducci had five catches for 52 yards while Luke Whary rushed it five times for 37 yards.

UP NEXT » Boy­er­town will travel to face Ex­eter for a non-league game Fri­day night at 7 p.m. A win would give the Bears their first 2-0 start since the 2013 sea­son, where they fin­ished 7-4 over­all.

Up­per Perk will host Kutztown Fri­day at 7 p.m. The Tribe is look­ing to avoid its first 0-2 start since 2013.

THOMAS NASH - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Jamie Moc­cia (7) hits the end zone for a touch­down as team­mate Dy­lan Robert­son sig­nals for the score against Up­per Perkiomen Fri­day.

THOMAS NASH - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town quar­ter­back Ay­den Mathias (11) looks for run­ning room on a keeper against Up­per Perkiomen.

THOMAS NASH - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Boy­er­town’s Jamie Moc­cia (7) is con­grat­u­lated af­ter scor­ing a touch­down against Up­per Perkiomen Fri­day.

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