By Bill Rudick
WEST GROVE—Unionville, the defending Ches-Mont American champs had not gotten off to a great start, dropping each of its first two games. Game three saw the Indians squared off with a local rival that had gotten off to a very hot start, as Avon Grove had won each of its first two game.
Both streaks came to an end Friday night at Avon Grove, as visiting Unionville played very tough defense, and added a grind it out running game to earn its first win of the season, a 20-0 blanking of the Red Devils.
“We’re a good football team that just happened to run up against two really good football teams the first two weeks,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “This is a good Avon Grove team, too, that when you watch on film, does all the little things right. I think our kids were able to just stay positive and put it all together this week.”
With the game still scoreless, Unionville’s Zach Nance picked off a Joey Borcky pass, and Uniojnville took over at its own 9-yard line late in the first. Unionville then marched off the 91 yard drive over the next seven minutes, culminating with a 32-yard scoring strinke from Alex Gorgone to a leaping Joe Zubilaga in the end zone.
“Joe is a great athlete, who plays three sports,” said Clark. “He’s probably rebounder on the basketball team, s
o we’re confident in him in those one-on-one shots. Alex put up a nice ball and he came down with it.”
Unionville tacked on another score just before the end of the half. With Avon Grove driving the ball and near midfield, the Indians forced a fumble. After changing hands a couple times, James Watson scooped it up and covered the 48 yards for the score, just 46 second before the break.
“I saw a couple different guys trying to get it, but it was still loose,” said Watson. “I knew it was my opportunity to make a play, so I just scooped it up like the coaches were yelling, and I knew I had a pretty good shot at making the end zone.”
Watson and his Indians defensive teammates did a great job of stopping what had been a very productive running game, limiting Avon Grove to just 58 yards on 22 carries, and pitched a shutout.
“We shut them down—they got nothing on the scoreboard,” said Watson. “That is what a defense is supposed to do. We had four down linemen and the linebackers lighting it up, and the secondary getting everything else. But the biggest thing is the win. Feels great to get the win.”
Unionville’s Jack Adams led all rushers in the game, grinding out 91 yards on 19 carries. Adams’ fourth period touchdown run from 35 yards out all be sealed the victory for Unionville.
“All year we’ve been preaching smashmouth football,” said Adams. “We finally put together the kind of game we all knew we could play.”
The Indians hope to take the momentum into next week’s league opener against Rustin.
“We were able to run the ball well, and we’re making tackles,” said Clark. “Any win is a good win, but against a quality team that can run the ball, I think it makes a difference in momentum. I don’t think these kids would work any less hard if we’d lost, but winning cures a lot of things. We’re looking forward to getting into th
e league schedule.”
For Avon Grove, it’s simply a time to learn from this week, and get itself ready for league play.
“This one is on me,” said Avon Grove coach Harry O’Neill. “I obviously didn’t have them prepared for this game. We’re just going to have to ratchet up the intensity starting on the practice field. We’ve got some things we’ll need to fix, and then get ready for next week.”