Upper Perk's Owen Leister is the first defensemen to dive onto the Methacton ball carrier during play in Friday night's home game.
If there was one moment of last Friday night’s game against Methacton that Upper Perk head coach Steve Moyer could change, it would be the Indians’ second offensive drive.
The march included a 78-yard, 14-play series that chewed up nearly five minutes of the clock and featured a balanced attack of the run and pass. The only problem was that the drive came up just two yards short of the end zone.
Highlights along the way included a 10-yard reception from Ryan Harris, a 14-yard screen pass and 13-yard run from Aidan Schaffer, and an 11-yard and eight-yard reception from Travis Kline, the latter on fourth down. But facing fourth-and-goal from the 7, a five-yard reception from quarterback Dylan Wesley to Tyler Zehr came up just two yards short of the goal line.
In the whole scheme of things, the drive wasn’t the deciding factor in Methacton’s 35-6 victory, but for Moyer, it went a long way of setting the tone for the rest of the game.
“We haven’t been sustaining drives, so it was nice that we put one together, but it would have been nice to score early,” Moyer said. “We battled in the first half, a score would have helped there early on when it was still a game but we had breakdowns offensively and defensively.”
An Upper Perk score would have answered the Warriors’ (2-2, 2-3) game-opening touchdown on its first drive. The score came from junior Devin Bradley, an Upper Perk transfer, who rumbled his way off left tackles for a seven-yard touchdown.
Undaunted, Methacton took the unfavorable field position and marched 98 yards, marking the second of five straight scoring drives for the Warriors. Methacton took a 21-0 lead into halftime, then stretched it to 35-0 early in the third quarter to set the mercy clock in motion.
The Indians (0-4, 0-5) faced a scary moment in the first half as Zehr went down on defense and immediately grabbed his leg. He was taken by stretcher to an awaiting ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital for a broken leg.
“The kids hung in there and played tough though,” Moyer said. “Methacton is a decent club and they did a nice job of getting the ball in the quarterback’s hands.”
Upper Perk’s offense finally crossed the goal line in the fourth quarter as Schaffer ran off left tackle and over a defender on his way to a nine-yard score. Harris, who led Upper Perk in receiving with three catches for 40 yards, set up the score with a 25-yard reception from Wesley (11 of 25 for 105 yards).
Senior linebacker Dan Heinrichs anchored the defense with a pair of tackles for a loss to go along with a fumble recovery and Schaffer broke up a pass.
The Indians will look to rebound tomorrow night at Owen J. Roberts. The Wildcats are 2-1 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference, 2-3 overall and got past Pope John Paul 20-12 last Saturday.
While OJR’s team statistics aren’t all that impressive, they do feature some standout individual talent. Offensively, the ‘Cats boast the league’s second leading rusher in Scott Wyatt (95 carries, 556 yards, 5 TDs); third rated quarterback Jarrad Pinelli (45 of 79 for 679 yards, 8 TDs) and top receiver Matt Raymond (21 receptions, 459 yards, 6 TDs). Its defense, though sixth overall (just two notches higher than Upper Perk’s), held the Panthers to 223 total yards in its win last week.