Ryan Harris runs with the ball after making a reception in Friday night's game at Pottstown. Harris caught two passes, one for a score in the game.
Anyone who hasn’t hung around to watch the fourth quarters of Upper Perkiomen’s football games the past two weeks has missed a lot.
Two weeks ago, the Indians turned away what would have been a winning two-point conversion pass in a one-point home Pioneer Athletic Conference victory against Owen J. Roberts. This past Friday the Tribe turned that flair for the dramatic up a notch in a 27-20 nailbiter at Pottstown.
With the score knotted 20-20 with less than two minutes left, junior quarterback Dylan Wesley orchestrated a six-play, 64-yard march. The drive ended in dramatic fashion as senior wide receiver Ronnie Gillespie pulled in a 20-yard score from Wesley with just 27 ticks left in regulation.
Gillespie, who has found his scoring touch as of late, pulled in six passes for 65 yards and that one score. Devyn Kerr, who played a big hand in the win on both sides of the ball, led the Tribe in receiving yardage with 73 yards on four receptions. Ryan Harris caught two passes, one for a score, as did Dalton Fleming.
The culprit behind all those completions was Wesley, who has shown marked improvement the past two games. Wesley was 16 of 27 for 157 yards with three scores and one pick as he completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and spread the ball around to three different receivers.
His first score came late in the first quarter as he hooked up with Harris for a five-yard touchdown to open the scoring and give the Indians (2-3, 3-4) an early lead. Wesley later found Kerr for a 22-yard score right before half and capped his evening with the clutch scoring pass to Gillespie.
Not to be lost in Upper Perk’s 357-yard offensive effort was the work of running back John Olson. The ever-reliable senior turned out his first 200-yard outing of the season as he carried the ball 31 times covering 204 yards. His biggest play of the night came early in the second as he took a counter down the right sideline and then raced 88 yards untouched to the end zone.
The play of Gillespie, Wesley and Olson helped the Tribe take a 20-7 lead into halftime. The second half performance, though, is something head coach Keith Leamer no doubt had plenty to say about in the film session. In the final two quarters, Upper Perk yielded 13 unanswered points, allowing the Trojans (2-3, 3-4) to climb right back into the affair, thanks to four turnovers.
But Upper Perk ran the two-minute drill to perfection when it mattered most in the fourth quarter, spoiling Pottstown’s homecoming.
Defensively, the Indians were paced by 11 tackles from Fleming at linebacker, as fellow senior linebacker Cody Caciolo accounted for 10 stops. Kyle Fox made eight tackles in the secondary and Zach Chatman made seven tackles up front and Devon Moll had six. Jody Peart notched a sack at linebacker and Kerr picked off a pass and Wesley recovered a fumble.
Upper Perk will look to extend its league win streak to three tomorrow night in a Homecoming tilt against Perk Valley. The Vikings (3-2, 4-3) will no doubt be hungry after suffering a double overtime Homecoming setback to Pope John Paul II in a game they dominated statistically in their last contest.
Though young and banged up at the moment, Perk Valley was the early darling of the season as they beat Boyertown and played above expectations. They feature a solid run game, fast and swarming defense and efficient passing game.