Whary, UP de­fense shuts out Pottstown

The Community Connection - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter

RED HILL » It was the fit­ting fi­nale to a mem­o­rable Se­nior/Par­ent Recog­ni­tion Night.

Ten mem­bers of Up­per Perkiomen’s bur­geon­ing se­nior class posed with head coach Tom Hontz for a group pic­ture at the con­clu­sion of Fri­day’s game with Pottstown. It was a Ko­dak mo­ment com­ing on what could be their fi­nal high-school game in their home sta­dium.

“We all love Coach Hontz,” Tyler Whary, one of the se­niors who lin­gered on the field af­ter ev­ery­one else had de­parted, said.

If it does end up be­ing the In­di­ans’ home-field fi­nale of the 2017 sea­son, Whary will have much to re­mem­ber it by. His play on both the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive sides of the ball was key to UP rolling up a 33-0 vic­tory on Pottstown in their Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Fron­tier Di­vi­sion cap­per.

Whary was the an­chor of Up­per Perk’s rush­ing game, cov­er­ing 161 yards on 18 car­ries with one touch­down. He was also on the re­ceiv­ing end of one of fel­low se­nior/quar­ter­back Tyler Keyser’s longer passes, a 26-yarder that helped fuel the third of four In­dian touch­downs on the night.

On the de­fen­sive side, Whary closed out his team’s scor­ing with a ca­reer-first pick-six in­side the game’s four-minute mark. It fig­ured promi­nently in UP (4-1 PAC, 6-3 over­all) claim­ing the di­vi­sion’s run­ner-up spot with Pope John Paul II los­ing to Potts­grove 63-27.

But it wasn’t un­til the sec­ond half the In­di­ans put dis­tance between them and Pottstown (0-5, 1-8). They went into the half­time locker room leading by a mere 10-0 score, ham­pered along the way by a fum­bled punt and an in­ter­cep­tion in their end zone.

“We went in at the half and fixed what we had to,” Whary said. “It was Se­nior Night. The coaches didn’t have to say any­thing.”

In tan­dem with the run­ning game, UP’s pass­ing game put up some big num­bers of its own. Keyser went 12-for-15 for 137 yards, con­nect­ing with class­mate Ryan Ken­dra for six plays cov­er­ing 88 yards — the high­light a 12-yard scor­ing toss with 5:12 to go.

“Tyler was call­ing his num­ber, and they came up big,” Hontz said.

The de­fense’s lights-out play was a par­tic­u­lar source of pride. Along with Whary’s in­ter­cep­tion turned-touch­down, the In­di­ans scored a safety sec­onds into the fourth quar­ter to take a 19-0 lead.

Backed to its own eight, Pottstown quar­ter­back Owen Mor­ton was tack­led in the end zone by Cole Fryer. For the night, the UP de­fense held Pottstown to just 71 yards to­tal of­fense.

“The safety was great,” Hontz said, “and so was Whary’s pick six. We were say­ing we had to

make that hap­pen.”

Their own de­fense of­fered the Tro­jans their bright­est mo­ments. Ne­hemiah Figueroa came up with the sec­ond-quar­ter in­ter­cep­tion that dashed UP’s 12-play, 75-yard march, and Ja­mal Adams stopped an­other at the Pottstown 27 by pick­ing off Keyser.

“The in­ter­cep­tions helped,” Pottstown’s firstyear head coach, Mark Fis­cher, said. “We made three stops in­side the 10. The kids prac­ticed hard and worked hard all week.”

The Tro­jans ac­tu­ally crossed into UP ter­ri­tory on four of their pos­ses­sions. But they had only four first downs to show for their work.

“We com­peted tonight,” Fis­cher said. “We went into the half look­ing to make ad­just­ments. We fought hard.”

The Up­per Perk rush­ing at­tack got an­other boost from Keyser (eight car­ries, 58 yards), who went eight yards around his right end 18 sec­onds prior to the end of the first half. Austin Tu­tolo had an­other 55 on nine totes, and sopho­more Tyrese Reid added 33 on six runs.

For Pottstown, Jon Ois­ter was the leading rusher with 59 yards on five car­ries. Mor­ton added 5-for-9 pass­ing good for 32 yards.

Up­per Perk will now look to next week’s sec­ond-place game with Owen J. Roberts. It also has its sights set on mak­ing the District 1 play­offs a sec­ond straight year.

That, in it­self, en­hances the game in the In­di­ans’ eyes.

“Last year, we wanted to make sure we didn’t get banged up for the play­offs,” Hontz said. “It (game) will be im­por­tant this year for the play­offs.”

NOTES » Ryan Ca­sola got UP go­ing by mak­ing a 28yard field goal in­side the game’s first three min­utes. The In­di­ans had moved from the open­ing kickoff to Pottstown’s six, only to face a fourth-down sit­u­a­tion at the 11 . ... Kayleigh Durn­ing was called on to make Up­per Perk’s con­ver­sion kicks on its last two touch­downs. Ca­sola was good on the first two . ... Pottstown’s prob­a­ble op­po­nent in the PAC’s “six­th­place” game will be Methac­ton, which went win­less in Di­vi­sion 1 with Fri­day’s loss to Perkiomen Val­ley. The teams played back on Sept. 15, the Tro­jans get­ting Fis­cher his first vic­tory at the helm of the pro­gram with a 12-6 verdict.

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