Sarah Kramer, playing at third singles, got things going for Upper Perk by posting the first win of the day, 6-1 and 6-2, in her match against Boyertown's Sam Usavage.
There were plenty of questions about just exactly how Upper Perk would handle itself in last Friday night’s season opener against visiting Quakertown.
A smattering of returning upper classmen are on the roster from last year, but the 2013 squad also features its share of up-and-comers who don’t have a lot of collective varsity playing time. In the early-goings of the season, Upper Perk showed bright spots on both sides of the ball, but things can be different when the scoreboard is turned on and there’s a full four quarters of football to be played.
And moments after the Panthers put the finishing touches on a 27-6 non-league victory, a whole new host of questions had to raised. The biggest of those questions has to be how to get the Indians’ offense rolling. The Panthers held Upper Perk to 16 total yards (minus-7 rushing), as the home team mustered just one first down.
Senior Travis Kline accounted for most of Upper Perk’s offensive showing as he pulled down a pair of passes for 15 yards. Fellow senior Aidan Schaffer hauled in one pass for eight yards, as Indian quarterback Wyatt Brumm finished 3 of 8 for 23 yards in his first varsity start.
Upper Perk’s defense, which was another big question mark going into the contest, played solid. The Panthers finished with 318 total yards, 176 on the ground and 142 in the air. And the defense got into the scoring action as Kline picked off an errant pass from Alec Vera in the third quarter and raced 38 yards into the end zone for Upper Perk’s lone score.
Upper Perk’s defense also caught a bad break in the first quarter, as a well-defended pass was tipped into the hands of a Quakertown receiver. The big play on third-and-long resulted in a 41-yard reception. A few plays later, the Indians were snakebit again as the Panthers fumbled, and the ball was spotted forward enough for a first down inside the 3-yard line to lead to Quakertown’s first score.
Upper Perk will look to shore things up as it travels on the road to Boyertown tomorrow to open up the Pioneer Athletic Conference portion of its schedule. The Bears are coming off a 46-39 shootout victory over Central Bucks East last Friday night in Doylestown.
In that game, the Bears rode the legs of running back Cody Richmond, who piled up 235 yards and three touchdowns. In the air, Boyertown senior quarterback Griffin Pasik kept the Patriots’ defense honest as he was 6 of 9 for 70 yards passing, and helped out the ground game with 90 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns. Eric Heller aided the offensive burst with 87 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries as part of a 526-yard total output.
Defensively, Boyertown’s numbers weren’t nearly as gaudy. The Bears’ defense yielded 496 total yards, 377 of which came through the air and resulted in four scores.
The big question heading into tomorrow night’s game is how the Indians will handle Boyertown’s size advantage. The Bears’ offensive line averages 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, and its defense features a pair of interior linemen who are bigger than that. With a Boyertown offense that loves to run the ball, Upper Perk, which doesn’t have much depth, will need to find creative ways to slow down the Bears.