Tight end Ryan Harris plows over a Pottstown defender as he carries the ball in Friday night's game against Pottstown.
There’s no official statistic for a moral victory. Nope, a loss is a loss as far as the numbers are concerned; no matter how hard the effort is or the level of adversity.
But one would be hard pressed to sell that rhetoric to Upper Perkiomen head football coach Steve Moyer. Moments after Pottstown turned a one-point game at halftime into a 33-19 victory, Moyer was quick to point out how much the game meant to him and his entire team.
“The kids played well and this certainly showed them that all of their hard work has started to pay off,” Moyer said. “They saw tonight that it’s worth it, had fun and enjoyed themselves.”
Moyer said he was most pleased with the play of the Indians’ defense. Matched up against the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s top offense in Pottstown, which came into the game averaging over 421 yards, Upper Perk limited the Trojans to just 226. Monroe Hampton, the league’s leading rusher, was held to 56 yards on 16 carries, while the PAC-10’s most prolific passer, Sage Reinhart, was a modest 4 of 12 for 37 yards and an interception.
That Tribe defensive effort, coupled with another big offensive outing by Perkiomen Valley, was enough to knock the Trojans down a peg to the league’s second best.
“It’s really good for the kids since they’ve battled all year and haven’t quit,” Moyer said. “We played good defense against one of the top offenses in the league.”
Pottstown struck first, scoring on its first offensive drive. But Upper Perk tied things up early in the second quarter as Aidan Schaffer scored from 10 yards out on a counter as he broke a pair of tackles to get across the goal line. The Indians (0-6, 0-7) held the Trojans (3-2, 4-3) to a three-and-out, but then gave up a 61-yard punt return for a score. Upper Perk responded right before the half as Mahlon Schaffer recovered a fumble to set the stage for Dylan Wesley’s four-yard scoring strike to Travis Kline to trail 14-13 at half.
Pottstown got its act together in the second half as it went to work on the ground, scoring once in the third and twice in the fourth to spoil Upper Perk’s Homecoming and Breast Cancer Awareness game.
“Tonight wasn’t a matter of what we didn’t do, it was a matter of what Upper Perk did do,” said Pottstown head coach Brett Myers. “Give their kids credit, they came ready to play.”
Schaffer finished with 33 carries for 123 yards and a pair of scores. Wesley was an effective 13 of 24 for 114 yards, a score and an interception as he spread the ball around to four different receivers. Ryan Harris led the Indians with six catches for 60 yards, Kline had four catches for 36 yards and a score and Schaffer and Robbie Hinson combined for three catches.
“It was a little frustrating that we struggled offensively in the third quarter and we just couldn’t get out of the hole,” Moyer said. “But we did OK, Aidan ran well, Dylan spread the ball around – we did some decent things.”
Defensively, Upper Perk got an interception from Kline and a fumble recovery from Quinn Perlstein. James Klingman had a tackle for a loss, Aidan Schaffer broke up two passes and Robert Brett turned away one.
Upper Perk will take the boost into tomorrow night’s away match-up against Perk Valley. The Vikings average 415 yards of total offense a game and feature the league’s third best defense. Quarterback Rasaan Stewart is now the league’s leading rusher with 767 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s also very effective in the air, evidenced by his 788 passing yards. Stewart’s favorite target Clay Domine leads the league in receiving with 38 catches for 587 yards.