Up­per Perk top­ples Kutz­town

Cougars drop opener in 47-12 de­feat

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff De­wees For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

For the first time in nine sea­sons, the Up­per Perkiomen In­di­ans have started a football cam­paign with con­sec­u­tive wins.

Fri­day night’s ca­su­alty was Kutz­town. The In­di­ans gashed the Cougars three plays into the host’s sea­son opener. It didn’t sub­side un­til Up­per Perkiomen found the end zone in each firsthalf pos­ses­sion — six in all — en route to a 47-12 win at An­dre Reed Sta­dium at Kutz­town Univer­sity. It came on the heels of a three-score ver­dict over Boyertown a week ago.

“I’ve read some­where that a 2-0 start is a good path to get into the play­offs,” Up­per Perkiomen coach Tom Hontz said. “And that is ul­ti­mately our goal. The tests start next week. We’ve got a good one next Fri­day against Up­per More­land.”

Tribe quar­ter­back Tyler Keyser di­rected scor­ing drives of 58, 30, 17, 37 and 52 yards be­fore half­time. The se­nior didn’t put the ball up much, but he didn’t have to — a pun­ish­ing of­fen­sive line took care of busi­ness in the trenches when it mat­tered.

Keyser was 2-for-4 for 45 yards and both com­ple­tions went for touch­downs — 38 yards to Ryan Ken­dra on the Tribe’s third snap of the game and a seven-yarder to Austin Tu­tolo to close the first half. He added a six-yard scam­per for a score late in the first half, a seg­ment that ended with his club hold­ing a 40-0 ad­van­tage. He was, as were most of the starters, pulled dur­ing the third quar­ter with that pro­hib­i­tive lead.

“We’ve put a lot of work into prac­tice and have con­di­tioned our­selves re­ally hard,” Keyser said. “Our se­niors are step­ping up and we’re play­ing like we know how to.

“We pride our­selves on first­series touch­downs and try to keep it rolling from there.”

In be­tween was an al­ter­nat­ing mix of heavy and fleet run­ning, all fronted by a line that han­dled Kutz­town’s front seven. Tyrese Reid pro­vided the speed, with scor­ing dashes of 12 and 36 yards. He fin­ished with 95 yards on eight car­ries. Tyler Whary pro­vided the bruis­ing changeup, four totes for 29 yards. It wasn’t much in terms of quan­tity, but it was the kind of heavy stuff that’ll wear down a smaller club tak­ing the field with 22 play­ers.

Young back Will Klinger added a pair of sec­ond half touch­downs.

“We can do a num­ber of things,” Hontz said. “Tyler’s throw­ing the ball well. We’ve got Ken­dra as a weapon; Reid. We have thunder with Tulo and Whary.

“These guys know our of­fense so well. The se­niors have been do­ing it for four years. It’s click­ing on all cylin­ders, as long as we stay healthy.”

It was a tough start to the 2017 cam­paign for the smaller and younger Cougars, play­ing up a cou­ple of di­vi­sions (5A to 3A) against the In­di­ans. The evening was not devoid of bright spots, how­ever.

Kutz­town got 20 car­ries and 88 yards out of 225-pound sopho­more run­ning back Caleb Riegel, in­clud­ing a late two-yard plunge for the game’s fi­nal score. Reigel did most of the work him­self, pro­ject­ing a steely de­ter­mi­na­tion even with the con­test out of reach.

First-year head coach Char­lie Mad­docks Jr., who ar­rived from an as­sis­tant coach po­si­tion at Lan­caster Catholic, was pleased with his club’s fight, a key com­po­nent mov­ing for­ward in what he termed “chang­ing the cul­ture” at Kutz­town.

“We have 22 guys and they didn’t quit,” Mad­docks said. “We need to change the cul­ture and for me it’s al­ready hap­pen­ing. I can see it in them. We’re go­ing to have grow­ing pains. Ev­ery­one thinks suc­cess is a straight up path. It’s not. It’s bumpy. It’s in­cre­men­tal. We took our lumps but we came out healthy, which is huge for us be­cause we can’t af­ford in­juries.”

Mad­docks has two sons on the 2017 Cougars — start­ing sopho­more quar­ter­back Char­lie III and fresh­man wide­out Owen. Char­lie was 12 of 18 for 102 yards and one touch­down, a 13-yard strike to back Drew Miller mid­way through the third quar­ter for the sea­son’s first score. Owen caught three balls from his older brother for 13 yards.


Run­ning back Caleb Riegel’s 88 rush­ing yards were a bright spot in Kutz­town’s de­feat by Up­per Perkiomen on Sept. 1

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