Jeremy Lowery lit up the scoreboard running the ball for the Penn High School football team from 1988-90.
But on his return to his alma mater as a head coach, while Lowery’s LaPorte Slicers (0-2) displayed plenty of fight, they came up short in a 33-6 defeat at the hands of the Kingsmen on Friday night at Freed Field.
La Porte punter Jaykob Ruiz escaped an intense Penn rush in the first quarter to get off a booming 56-yard punt on the run. Ruiz wasn’t as fortunate on his second punt. Penn’s Patrick Maclin blocked the punt and put the Kingsmen on the board with a 6-yard scoop and score at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter.
LaPorte quickly struck back. Zach Purnell picked off a pass at the LaPorte 39. The Slicers used six plays to reach the end zone as Collin Bergquist hauled in a 20-yard pass from Robbie Kiner for the TD. The extrra point was missed as the Slicers cut the Kingsmen lead to 7-6 with 11:19 left in the second quarter.
Stung by two first-quarter interceptions by Kiner and Purnell, Penn quarterback Ron Powlus and the Kingsmen then took command.
Powlus directed a pair of scoring drives in the second quarter to give Penn a 21-6 halftime lead. Powlus hit Nick Favilla for a 34-yard score with 10:11 left in the second quarter, and found Favilla again for a 14-yard strike with 3:48 left in the second quarter.
In the second half, Powlus launched two more TD passes, 20 yards to Carson Mumaw in the third quarter, and 10 yards to Casey Shultz.
Powlus finished with four TD passes and 205 passing yards. He was 9-of-15 with two interceptions.
Kyle Riffel spearheaded the Kingsmen ground game with 139 yards rushing.
LaPorte’s Bergquist pounded out 119 yards rushing on 12 carries. Jamaal Salary gained 69 hard-fought yards on 16 carries. Kiner gained 33 yards, Justin Forker 28 and Jerahmiah Ruiz 23.
Next up on the Slicers' brutal season-starting schedule is yet another ranked team, a home contest on Sept. 6 against No. 4 Class 5A Valparaiso, which had beaten Penn 34-14 in its opener.
Penn 33, La Porte 6
Collin Bergquist rushed for 119 yards and scored for the Slicers.