A strong running game combined with a pair of first-quarter turnovers by the Panthers allowed Tower Hill to extend its winning streak to three straight over Perkiomen as the Hillers posted a 28-12 victory last Friday. It was a disappointing home opener for the Panthers.
After shooting themselves in the foot with a pair of costly penalties on their opening drive, the Hillers regrouped on their second possession, and marched 67 yards on only four plays to take a 7-0 lead half way through the first quarter.
Senior running back Jermaine Knotts exploded for 50 yards on three straight carries before senior captain Grier Wakefield scampered in from 17 yards out to complete the scoring drive.
When Perkiomen fumbled the ensuing kickoff, the Hillers took over on the Panthers’ 30-yard line. The visitors capitalized on their very first play from scrimmage as Matt Smith connected on a 30-yard pass to Peter Smith for the Hillers’ second score of the game.
Two plays later the Panthers fumbled the ball away again, and the visitors made the most of the opportunity with a seven-play, 48 yard drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown run by Cole Wenzel.
When the first quarter ended, Tower Hill held a 21-0 lead over the Panthers. The Hillers would find the end zone one more time in the second quarter, and at halftime, the visitors held a commanding 28-0 edge.
To Perkiomen’s credit the players were able to put the shaky first half behind them as they took the second half kickoff and launched a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended when Isaiah Smith plowed in from five yards out with Perkiomen’s first points of the game, making the score 28-6.
The Perkiomen defense, which had struggled the entire first half, stopped the Hillers on the next series, and the Panthers offense controlled the ball for the rest of the third quarter.
Perkiomen would find the end zone for its second score of the game when Smith raced in from 30 yards out with his second touchdown of the day. The touchdown by Smith brought the score to 28-12, but with just over three minutes remaining in the game it was too little too late for the Panthers.
“We lacked mental focus in the first half," Perkiomen Head Coach Tom Calvario said. “We’re not the type of team that can start slow and turn it up when we get down big like that especially to a solid team like Tower Hill. We challenged the team at half time. We told them they were better than what they had shown in the first half. I was disappointed in the way we started, but proud of the way we came out in the second half and battled to the end.”
Pekiomen will look to bounce back this Friday when they host The George School at 7 p.m. in a game that will be played under the lights at the Upper Perkiomen High School.