Drought ends: Great Valley finally defeats Unionville

EAST MARLBOROUGH – Ryan Buchholz knew Great Valley haven’t defeated Unionville in a long time.

The smile on his face after the game backed up that claim. That smile was reflected on all 27 seniors on the Patriots roster.

“Eighth grade was the last time we beat them (Unionville),’ Buchholz said. “All of us seniors were thinking about that. It’s been a long time. A really long time.’

That long time is history for Great Valley.

Buchholz and the Patriots defense held the Indians to 226 yards as Great Valley scored 34 unanswered points in the second half in a 41-9 victory over Unionville Friday night.

The win was the Patriots (4-1 American, 8-1 overall) first over their Ches-Mont American Division rivals since 2004, back when both teams were in the Southern Chester County League. The Indians (3-2 American, 5-4 overall) dropped their second straight with the loss.

“Anytime you can beat a team with the caliber of Unionville is a great win,’ said Great Valley head coach Dan Ellis. “I’m really happy for our seniors. They have never beaten Unionville nor West Chester Rustin in their four years here. This was their last chance, their last shot. It was great to see them follow though on that last chance.’

The Patriots needed a half to fulfill Ellis’s statement. Unionville took an early 6-0 lead on two field goals by Alex Pechin in the first quarter.

After Pechin’s second field goal, Great Valley used a big play to take its first lead of the night, courtesy of Nasir Adderley.

Out of the wildcat formation, Adderley took a sweep to the left sde and sprinted to the end zone for a 76-yard touchdown run to give the Patriots a 7-6 lead.

“Once again, the blocks set that play up,’ Adderley said. “That set me up to do what I do best: run.’

On Unionville’s final drive in the second quarter, Pechin kicked a 50-yard field goal to give the Indians a 9-7 lead heading into halftime.

The Patriots defense felt Unionville’s offense wearing down in the second quarter. The unit knew they had to take advantage.

“We thought it was still our game,’ Buchholz said. “We made some mistakes in that first half, but we also knew they were tired. We had to come out strong.’

Jake Hubley made sure that was possible.

On the opening kickoff of the half, Hubley returned it 100 yards for the touchdown to give Great Valley a 14-9 lead, one which they would never relinguish.

The game changed on the Indians ensuing possession. On 4th-and-1 from their own 29, Unionville attempted a fake punt as Pechin tucked the ball and ran toward the left hashmark.

But there was Buchholz to greet him. He slammed Pechin to the ground one yard shy of the line of scrimmage to give the Patriots a short field early in the third quarter.

“At the line of scrimmage, I called to watch the direct snap,’ Buchholz said. “I didn’t try to block it. Just saw Alex running and ran as fast as I could.’

“That totally changed the dynamic and flow of the game,’ Ellis said. “Our big guys made plays when they needed to and that showed tonight.’

The Patriots scored 17 points over the next nine minutes to put the game away.

After Pat Sauer hit a 22-yard field goal to put Great Valley up eight, Tyler Marmo fumbled the ensuing kickoff at midfield.

The next drive was capped by Zach Ludwig finding River Johnson on an eight-yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 24-7.

On Unionville’s next possession, Pechin was pressured into getting rid of the ball quick. The result landed in the hands of Adderley, who took Pechin’s pass 64 yards to the end zone as Great Valley took a 31-9 lead after the third quarter.

Pechin finished 9-for-28 with 115 yards and two interceptions on the night. Great Valley’s defense held him to 2-of-12 for 10 yards and two interceptions after halftime.

“We were hungry,’ Adderley said. “We came out with fire and just made big play after big play.’

Unionville closes the regular season against Oxford. A win will give the Indians their 10th consecutive winning season.

Great Valley shared no secret that this was its biggest win of the season. While the Patriots plan to enjoy the win, they still plan on taking things one game at a time.

Next up Kennett.

“We can’t look ahead and think about playoffs or any of that,’ Ellis said. “Our job is to game plan for Kennett and stopping the veer. They got some good players over there. We have to be prepared to play them.’

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