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Unionville jumps on Sun Valley early, stays perfect in Ches-Mont American

ASTON >> When the Unionville Indians scored on three consecutive drives Friday night, déjà vu really kicked in for the team on the other sideline.

Sun Valley, which gave up 70 points last week to West Chester Rustin, struggled to keep up with Unionville early, as Joe Zubillaga and the Indians spoiled the Vanguards’ senior night with a 42-14 win in Ches-Mont League American Division action.

“it was a little back and forth in the beginning,” said Sun Valley coach Ray Gionta. “We basically spotted them the first three touchdowns with our punt miscues. Overall, coming back from last week, we played a lot better, but we just didn’t make the plays when they were there to be made. Unionville’s a really good team and they executed well.”

The Unionville defense got things started by forcing a three and out, however, a botched Sun Valley snap on the fourth down punt gave Unionville (5-0 Ches-Mont American, 8-1 overall) the ball on Sun Valley’s 24 yard line. Three plays later, Zubillaga took a direct snap 11 yards into the end zone.

Following another defensive stand, it would be Zubillaga again helping his team put points on the board, this time as a decoy.

After trying to track Zubillaga on a deep post down the middle, the Sun Valley (2-4, 4-5) defense got caught and forgot about the crafty JT Hower. Alex Gorgone dumped the ball off to Hower as he slipped out into the flat, and with so much open field, Hower walked into the end zone for a 14-0 Unionville lead.

“The things that we do around here is go into every game mentally prepared and mentally focused,” Zubillaga said. “It really worked for us tonight. We had the psychological advantage because we knew that we were the better team and we had the better players to execute tonight.”

Without Caliph Jones in the lineup for Sun Valley, Julz Kelly was asked to do a lot, however the offense struggled to execute and Kelly was quickly frustrated. On second down in the second quarter, Kelly took a handoff out of the backfield, but was quickly met by multiple Unionville defenders. On the next play, Kelly beat his defender on a fly route down the field, but was underthrown despite having a step. Then on fourth down, Unionville was able to get through and block the punt, setting up shop at the Sun Valley 20 yard line.

Dante Graham would find the end zone and boost the score to 21-0, further sinking Sun Valley’s hopes for an upset win.

“I thought we were pretty strong in the first half,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “We got a little sloppy in the second quarter, but listen, I really like Julz Kelly for them. I think Kelly is a really good football player and you can’t get sloppy and undisciplined and they took right down the field on us. But, I thought we refocused at halftime and I think our second half effort was really good.

Unionville finshes the season at home next week against Great Valley, where a win would complete a perfect run through the American and a division title.

“We have the opportunity next week to compete for another league championship,” Clark continued. “We’re trying to stay in first place and we put ourselves in a position to be a part of another league championship and that’s something our kids have worked really hard at since last winter so I’m real proud of the fact that they’ve got themselves there.”

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