POTTSTOWN >> Tyler Whary rushed for a game-high 196 yards on 21 carries with four touchdowns as Upper Perkiomen took advantage of three third quarter Pottstown turnovers to race out to a 43-16 victory Saturday afternoon.
The contest was never in question as the Indians broke out to a 14-0 first-quarter lead before scoring 20 points in a game-clinching third quarter. Despite three turnovers, the Indians limited Pottstown to one offensive touchdown, which came in the fourth quarter.
Since allowing 62 points in Week 7’s loss to Pottsgrove, Upper Perkiomen’s defense has stood tall, allowing 14.5 points per game in the past two wins.
“We had a few hiccups out there but all-in-all we still played a pretty solid football game,” Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz said. “I guess that’s a sign that we’re getting better when you can make mistakes and still come away with a solid victory like that.
“Overall our defense the past two weeks, which has been pretty maligned all season long, has stepped up. Two decent opponents and we basically pitched a shutout today. That’s a heck of a job and a real tribute to Coach (Brian) Peoples and Coach (Jake) Engle, our defensive coaches.”
Upper Perkiomen (4-1 PAC, 5-4 overall) clinches the No. 2 seed in the Frontier Division and will host Liberty Division’s No. 2 seed Spring-Ford (4-1 PAC, 7-2 overall) next Friday. The win also solidified the Indians’ standing in the District 1 Class 4A race in two weeks.
Whary eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with his effort Saturday. The junior back resembled a battering ram throughout the contest as he continually broke into the Pottstown secondary. Whary broke a 66-yard touchdown run to give the team a 7-0 lead before scoring from 5, 6 and 1-yard out to cap his day. Fullback Austin Tutolo, who was spectacular in supplying the lead block throughout, finished with eight yards rushing as the Indians finished with 343 yards of total offense — 254 coming on the ground.
“I knew it was going to be tough running today,” Whary said. “They are not an easy defense and I knew I was probably going to have to run through some people. That’s what I came to do. Right now we’re playing amazing. It all goes to our offensive line, though. They are doing the job and working hard.”
“Whary and Tutolo in the backfield, that’s a nice combination there,” Hontz said. “They handled the ball pretty well for us. We realized Zeke was having a bit of an off day today so we went to the ground game and these guys really put on a performance.”
Pottstown’s Larry Wingo finished with a season-best 134 yards and a score for the Trojans, which came into the game tied for Pope John Paul II for the last playoff position in Class 4A. Wingo’s day, however, was offset by a forgettable third quarter that involved a safety followed by three consecutive fumbles — two of which resulted in Upper Perkiomen touchdowns.
Pottstown finished with eight first downs and were held to 140 yards of total offense — all coming on the ground.
Notes >> Trevor Stephen hauled in his fifth touchdown pass of the season in the first quarter to make it 14-0. Stephen finished with two receptions for 24 yards. … Tyrese Reid finished with a touchdown and 16 rushing yards.