By Bryan Davis
@btdavis25 on Twitter
EAST MARLBOROUGH >> It may have been the first time the Unionville High and Kennett football teams had less than .500 records at the time of their meeting, but it was time to cue up one of the oldest sports cliches in use: throw out the records when crosstown rivals meet.
The defenses ruled for most of the game as points were at a premium, but two key plays determined the outcome Friday. One play after the Blue Demons missed a field goal, Nick Schnaars rambled 79 yards for the decisive score as the Indians survived a late touchdown to eke out a 10-7 victory in a Ches-Mont League American Division tussle.
The Indians improved to 3-4, but of most importance, went to 3-0 in the division with a gigantic contest against West Chester Rustin on the horizon. The Blue Demons fell to 2-5 overall, 2-1 in the American, and had their two-game winning streak snapped.
“It was definitely tougher then expected, but it’s a new team, new year,” said Unionville defensive lineman Eli Lyons. “We were able to toughen it out and next week, we’ll learn from our mistakes and hopefully, come out better.”
Kennett’s offense was bottled up most of the night, but they put together a sustained drive late in the third quarter. They had a third-and-4 on Unnionville 37, trailing 3-0 as the fourth quarter started. A pass interference combined with an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Indians set them up in the red zone.
They were denied the go-ahead touchdown, and Zach Lindner missed a 31-yard field goal. Unionville then applied the dagger as Schnaars took the handoff, broke the the right side and dashed down the sideline for the score.
“We had to overcome a lot of adversity this year,” said Schnaars. “They are a much, much improved program, and we had to overcome them playing us tough.
“Props to my offensive linemen, my guys on the outside, and our offensive coordinator made a good call. I saw a hole and I ran through it.”
The touchdown definitely made an impression on Lyons, who had two of Unionville’s six sacks.
“It was crazy. I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life,” he said.
Kennett didn’t pack it in, though, led by sterling sophomore quarterback Sam Forte, they drove 74 yards in 11 plays as Forte went 7-for-9 on the march. He cashed it in by diving over from the one.
“That kid (Forte) is going to a pain for the next two years,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “He extended plays and he’s running our find guys and we tried to limit that.”
However, the score came with under a minute left. Unionville recovered the onside kick, and two knees later, escaped with the victory.
The first half was not one for lovers of offense, with 143 total yards between the two teams, with Kennett being held to 19.
Unionville, though, had chances. It fumbled the ball through the end zone for a touchback, while Mitch Kosara picked off a pass close to the goal line close to halftime.
The only points of the first half came when Dominic Braithwaite connected on a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter.
The Blue Demons were stout defensively as they bottled up the Indians for most of the game for first-year coach Lance Frazier.
“Our defense has been playing great all season long,” he said. “Our defense is starting to catch up. These kids are starting to see the fruits of their labor.”
Forte ended the evening 12-for-17 for 109 yards.
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