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Unionville defense makes big stops at key moments

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SPRINGFIELD—In just about any game, there are a few plays that might fly under the radar, but have a huge impact on the outcome. In Unionville’s 35-25 win over Springfield (Delco) for the District 1, Class 5A championship Friday night at Springfield, the Indians can point to a couple of key defensive stops.

“Our kids just willed themselves to make the plays defensively,” said Unionville Coach Pat Clark. “I think our team on defense played with a great motor. We forced a bunch of turnovers and just battled hard all night.”

The first came just before halftime, with the Indians holding a 14-6 advantage. The Cougars had driven deep into cut the lead to a point headed into the break. But after the Indians came up with a big stop on third and short, Springfield was forced to settle for a field goal.

The Cougars did take the lead briefly in the third, and were up 15-14 when they once again drove deep into Indians territory. Once again, though, the Indians kept Springfield out of the end zone, settling for another field goal and an 18-14 lead.

So twice the Cougars had golden opportunities to put up a total of 14 points, and wound up with six. With Unionville leading by just three late, 28-25, those extra eight points could have made all the difference in the world.

“You always want to see your team on top on the scoreboard,” said Unionville defensive lineman Zach Lawrence. But even down in the third quarter, we knew if we could come up with those stops on defense, we have all the tools we need on offense to get the win. It’s an incredible feeling to win a district championship.”

One more stop sealed the deal. With the Cougars down to their last gasp, quarterback Jack Psenicska dropped back to pass, and scrambled out to his right. But Elijah Woodall shook his blocker, and picked up the sack, forcing a fumble in the process. He then made the recovery for a touchdown, and it was all over but the shouting.

“I got in and I sacked him,” said Woodall. “Then I saw the ball pop out and just scooped it up and scored, it was just instinct. This feeling is unreal. It’s crazy.”

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