By Bill Rudick
KENNETT SQUARE—Coming off last week’s big win over Great Valley, Unionville had no chance to enjoy it, as this week they faced cross town rival Kennett, a tough game no matter the records.
After a slow start, the Indians (5-3, 4-0) kicked it up a notch in the second half to top the Blue Demons by a score of 34-14
Early on, it didn’t seem as though anyone was going to get rolling on offense. Both defenses were rock solid, and the first period ended
scoreless, with the two teams combining for six punts.
“All we really needed was one big play and we knew it was going to be our game,” said Indians quarterback Joe Zubilaga.
After a couple of penalties and a fumble out of bounds forced Kennett to punt out of its own end zone, Unionville took over with great field position, settling in at the Blue Demons 32-yard line.
Zubilaga then took it upon himself to make that big play, breaking a couple tackles near the line and sprinting the whole 32-yards on first down for the score. An uncharacteristic miss from Unionville kicker Matt Mainwaring left the score at 6-0
Kennett answered right back, though, with a big play of its own, when Connor Hyzny rumbled 43 yards down inside the Indians five. Jake Dilcher ran it in from a yard out and with the PAT, the Blue demons led 7-6, a score that would hold up to halftime.
“We played a very
good first quarter, and good first half, really,” said Kennett coach Doug Langley. “But we need to play a full four quarters. We’re young, and we’re getting better every week. But we have to play a full four quarters if we’re going to end with a couple more wins.”
In the second half, Unionville kept with the game plan, keeping it on the ground and moving the chains. Soon enough, the one and two yard gains started turning into six and seven yarders, and even bigger ones on occasion.
Dante Graham, who had just two yards in the first half, piled up 89 yards on 10 carries in the second half, and scored three Indians’ touchdowns.
“Coach Clark has us very well conditioned,” said Graham. “We condition until we can barely take it. So we tend to be able to pick things up in the second half against most teams. We just keep coming after them hard and wear them down.”
Zubilaga led all rushers in the game, with 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 18 carries. But he was quick to point out the job his teammates did on the other side of the ball.
“We held them to 14 points, seven for most of the game,” said Zubilaga. “This was a total team effort.”
Unionville coach Pat Clark agreed.
“I’ll take the first seven,” said Clark. “That was a bad blitz call on my part, so just a great job on defense.”
The Indians are now just a win away from clinching at least a tie for the American division crown.
“We struggled a bit early, but I think that schedule is really helping us now,” said Clark. “We’re a young team, and the kids are really coming into their own. Winning cures a lot of ills.”