Up­per Perk runs down Phan­toms, 44-20

Whary, Reid team up for 306 rush­ing yards

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Tucker Ba­gley For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Tyler Whary and Tyrese Reid com­bined for 306 rush­ing yards on Fri­day night, as Up­per Perkiomen de­feated Phoenixville, 44-20, in both team’s Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Fron­tier Divi­sion opener at Phoenixville’s Wash­ing­ton Field.

Phoenixville jumped out to an early lead, tak­ing the open­ing drive of the game 81 yards for 6 points, but Up­per Perk was quick to re­spond, scor­ing touch­downs on each of their first two drives and grab­bing a 15-9 lead that it never re­lin­quished.

The turn­ing point in the game came early as Phoenixville (0-1, 0-5) started a drive at their own 15-yard line, but lost yards on first and sec­ond down be­fore the In­di­ans picked up a safety on third down by sack­ing Con­nor Pata­nia.

“In all ac­tu­al­ity, we had one guy blitz who wasn’t sup­posed to on the safety, but it worked,” Up­per Perkiomen coach Tom Hontz said.

Up­per Perk (1-0, 3-2) was com­ing off a pair of tough losses to Up­per More­land and a 56-0 drub­bing at the hands of Co­cal­ico last week.

“Our cap­tains stepped up this week and said ‘we need to get some en­ergy in prac­tice this week,’ and I thought we had a good, crisp week of prac­tice.” Hontz said.

“Com­ing off that tough loss, we were def­i­nitely mo­ti­vated,” Whary added. “This was our first con­fer­ence game and ev­ery­one was fired up. Us cap­tains just got to­gether and said, ‘We need to get these boys ral­lied up.’”

The com­bi­na­tion of Whary and Reid ran the ball 25 times and added 5 touch­downs, while each av­er­aged over 10 yards per carry for the game.

“It’s nice be­ing able to ro­tate these guys be­cause (Whary) is a key com­po­nent for our de­fense,” Hontz said. “So if we can get him a rest, that’s huge.”

Up­per Perkiomen did a good job of spread­ing the ball around as four dif­fer­ent In­di­ans re­ceived mul­ti­ple car­ries and quar­ter­back Tyler Keyser con­nected with five dif­fer­ent wide re­ceivers.

“We just want to pound the rock,” Whary said. “It’s al­ways good to get a bit of a rest, but then I want to get back out there as strong as I can be.”

In a game that was fought in the trenches, the Phan­toms and the In­di­ans racked up a to­tal of 553 rush­ing yards be­tween the two teams. Lead­ing the way for the Phan­toms was Travis Panella, who fin­ished with 150 yards on 26 car­ries.

How­ever, the Phan­toms also found suc­cess through the air, as Pata­nia com­pleted 18 of his 25 passes for 134 yards.

“He’s a huge com­peti­tor,” Phoenixville coach Evan Breis­blatt said. “Com­ing off his rough per­for­mance last week, we di­aled things a bit back for him and called some shorter passes, but he did a great job of di­rect­ing our of­fense for the en­tire game.”

Up­per Perkiomen’s de­fense sur­ren­dered 340 yards of to­tal of­fense on the night, but the In­di­ans were able to stand strong in the red zone, hold­ing the Phan­toms to a pair of field goals from in­side the 5-yard-line as a re­sault of goal-line

stands.

“Once the field got a lit­tle shorter for them, we were able to step up and make some plays,” Hontz said. “They ran a very bal­anced at­tack tonight and we needed to ad­just make sure we stopped them.”

Phoenixville’s de­fense al­lowed a touch­down on six of Up­per Perk’s eight of­fen­sive drives.

That said, coach Breis­blatt be­lieves there are still rea­sons to be op­ti­mistic look­ing for­ward for the Phan­toms as the sea­son goes on. They’ll go up against PAC Fron­tier Divi­sion foe Pope John Paul II next Fri­day at 7 p.m. in Con­shohocken.

“We’ve run into a rough stretch of good teams to Phoenixville’s Alex Wash­ing­ton takes a carry against Up­per Perkiomen dur­ing last Fri­day night’s game. The Tribe won 44-20.

start the year, but I see us im­prov­ing every week,” he said. “De­fen­sively, I think we have guys in the right

spots, but I’ve just never seena­pair of run­ning­backs as tal­ented as the guys they have over there.”

BARRY TAGLIEBER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Up­per Perkiomen’s Tyler Keyser rushes around the edge as Phoenixville’s Bryce Thomp­son pur­sues dur­ing Fri­day night’s game.

BARRY TAGLIEBER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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