Indians delight Homecoming crowd with 10-7 win
By Richard Gaw
For the past several seasons, as sure as autumn brings red, yellow and orange, the Unionville football team has defined its success by its playmakers – its quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends and receivers.
However, it was the Indians' defense last Friday night -- led by Eli Lyons, Jeffrey Lang, Declan Boyle and other contributors – that took center stage in a 10-7 Homecoming victory over crosstown rival Kennett. The Unionville defense held the Blue Demons to 19 offensive yards in the first half, and sacked sophomore quarterback Sam Forte six times.
“Defense is a team concept, and some guys will shine more than others some weeks,” said Unionville head coach Pat Clark. “Eli had a really good match-up, and made some big plays for us in the first half. We were pretty good defensively all night, and we needed to be. Kennett had a nice drive at the end, but by that time we had gotten a second score, and made the two scores hold up. You win lots of different ways, and tonight we won with defense.”
After a scoreless first quarter that featured three punts and a quick kick, Unionville got on the scoreboard on a 35-yard field goal by Dominic Braithwaite with 7:54 left in the first half, that was set up by a 26-yard run by Weston Grim that got the ball to the 17-yard line.
Unionville threatened again in the second quarter that began with a 13-yard completion from quarterback Blake Charlton to wide receiver Sam Schriver and a 40-yard completion to Lang that got the ball to Kennett's 12-yard line. Running back Joe Fariello carried for an additional six yards, but running back Connor Schilling lost control of the ball just as he was crossing the goal line with 3:21 remaining in the first half, that returned possession to Kennett at its own 20-yard line.
Early in the fourth quarter, a costly penalty by Unionville gave Kennett the ball on their opponent's 18-yard line, and a scramble by Forte got the ball to the 11-yard line, but a 31-yard field goal attempt by Zach Lindner with 10:17 let in the game went wide right. Wasting little time, Unionville's Nick Schnaars took his team's first play from scrimmage and sprinted 79 yards nearly untouched up the Kennett sideline for the game's first touchdown, to stake Unionville to a 10-0 lead, with 10:04 left.
Going into the game, Unionville was prepared to take on a Kennett team that not only has a new coach in former NFL player Lance Frazier, but a lot of talent as well, led in part by Forte, who gave evidence in the fourth quarter that he will be a force in the Ches-Mont for the remainder of this season and the next two.
Taking over on downs on his team's 26-yard line, Forte orchestrated a 74-yard drive, beginning with an 18-yard pass to wide receiver Mitch Kosara, a 16-yard strike to tight end Josh Ploener, and three consecutive passes to running back Garrett Cox that moved the ball from the 40-yard line to the 1-yard line. With 38 seconds remaining in the game, Forte dove over the top for his team's only score.
Unionville may be heading into its game at Bayard Rustin on Oct. 12 with a 3-4 overall record, but its second place standing behind the first-place Golden Knights is helped by a 3-0 record in the Ches-Mont, which keeps them in the running to earn a post-season spot, even a league championship, Clark said.
“Certainly, we'll have to find some more offense next week when we play Rustin, but the history of Unionville and Rustin has been great football games for a over a decade, and I'm sure we'll get the same exact thing this coming Friday,” he said. “I feel like we've also played one of the tougher schedules in the area, and the fact that we've played a number of tough teams benefited us tonight.”
Now 2-5 overall on the season, the Blue Demons will host winless Henderson on Oct. 12.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.