Unionville closes out season with win over Oxford
By Steven Hoffman
Unionville linebacker Michael Weber intercepted a pass in the end zone and raced 100 yards for a touchdown midway through the second quarter, providing a momentum swing that propelled the Indians to a 56-18 win over Oxford on Halloween night.
At the time of the interception, Oxford was nine yards away from a chance to tie the game at 14-14. Instead, Unionville boosted its lead to 21-6 and never looked back.
Unionville’s backfield of Austin Hofmann-Reardon, Brandon Boon, and Brendan Boyle combined for more than 200 rushing yards. Boon caught two touchdown passes, one a 30-yarder and the other a 31-yarder, and ran for another score. Hofmann-Reardon ran for two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Alex Pechin concluded his football career in fine fashion, throwing for two touchdowns, running for one touchdown, and catching one more.
It was a strong finish to a season that saw Unionville go 6-4 as the team tackled a rugged schedule.
The running game has been a big part of Unionville’s success. In the first possession against Oxford, Unionville ran the ball 11 straight times to move the ball 63 yards. Hofmann-Reardon capped the drive with a two-yard run into the end zone. In the next offensive series, Unionville ran the ball six straight times to cover 49 yards, with Pechin bolting into the end zone for a nine-yard score.
Oxford battled back early in the second quarter when running back Zach Deasey ran for a 33-yard touchdown.
After Oxford’s defense forced a fumble, quarterback Dan Green engineered a drive that moved the Hornets deep into Unionville territory. A 20-yard carry by fullback Brad Way put the ball at the 10-yard line. But four plays later, Green fired a pass toward the end zone and Weber stepped in front of a receiver to make the interception. He received good blocking down the field and ran the ball the length of the football field. Unionville led 21-6 at that point, and Pechin added to the lead a few plays later by throwing a 31-yard touchdown to Boon.
Oxford battled back as Green found his favorite target, wide receiver Ryan Hubley, for a 43-yard gain. Hubley made a sensational leaping grab in the middle of the field to haul the pass in. Oxford capped the 81-yard drive when Green found Way for a 10-yard touchdown, making it 28-12 just before the first half ended.
Unionville capitalized on an interception by linebacker Quinn Cheyney to increase its lead in the third quarter. Pechin threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Boon. A few minutes later, Hofmann-Reardon bolted 22 yards for a touchdown, making it 42-12. Boon then scored on a 29-yard run in the closing minute of the third quarter.
With seniors on both teams enjoying their final quarter of high school football, emotions ran high in the fourth quarter. Pechin lined up at wide receiver and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jason Hagen.
Then, with 4:25 left to play in the game, Hubley caught the final touchdown of his amazing career, a 29-yarder from Green. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the final score at 56-18.
Oxford head coach Mike Pietlock said that the Unionville game was representative of how the Hornets have played this season. The offense was productive and had some bright moments. The defense played well at times but had a penchant for giving up big plays and struggled to stop the run. The special teams play was also up and down.
“There are three phases to football and you have to play all three to win,” Pietlock said.
The Oxford coach added that he was proud of the hard work that the players put in during the course of the 2-8 season.
“I told them that I woke up this morning proud to be Oxford’s coach,” Pietlock said. “And I’m still proud to be their coach after this game.”
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org.