Big second half leads Avon Grove to first win

WEST GROVE—Paced by Colby Riddell’s three fourth quarter scores, the Red Devils (1-3) broke open a

Avon Grove’s Colby
Riddell follows the block of Zane Frantz (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

close game and won going away, handing visiting Unionville (3-1) its first loss. It was the first coaching victory for new head coach Joe Coffey.

“Unionville has had a great program for so long, it feels really good to get the first win over a program like that,” said Coffey. “The way we played in the second half was just amazing, The kids never let up and just kept playing tough. So happy for them to see it end with a win.”

When he got the blocks, Riddell hit the hole and picked up big gains. Even when he didn’t get the blocks, Riddell managed to break tackles and tack on long runs anyway. When the final buzzer sounded, Riddell had amassed 168 yards on 18 carries, and most importantly, those three touchdowns in the game’s final ten minutes.

“Colby is a tough, tough kid and our workhorse,” said Coffey. “He took everyone on his back and just carried the team and the rock the way we count in him to do.”

Unionville got on the board first, and in a hurry. After forcing a three-and-out on the Devils’ first possession, Unionville went straight to the air, with quarterback Matt McCloskey connecting with Nick Farrell on an 86-yard scoring strike.

Unionville’s Nick Farrell heads down the sideline on an 86 yard TD (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

The two were a bright spot for Unionville, especially in the early going. In the first half, McCloskey completed six of seven passes for 150 yards, all but four of those yards to Ferrell. McCloskey finished 9 of 18 for 176. Farrell caught eight of those balls for 172.

“Avon Grove played so much harder than we did for four quarters and they really took it to us,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “We didn’t play with enough energy and we didn’t execute. But this is sports—we lost, now what are we going to learn and how do we fix it?”

Avon Grove took advantage of a Unionville miscue to answer right back, recovering a fumble after a Devils’ punt. Three plays later, quarterback Connor Walsh took it two yards on a keeper, and just like that, it was 7-7.

AG’s Connor Walsh looks for running room (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

Walsh was the model of efficiency throwing the ball. While the Devils’ QB, threw just nine passes, he completed seven of them for 152 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

The teams traded touchdowns—twice—in the second period, with the Devils converting a two-point try with Riddell, and the game went to the break with Avon Grove holding s slim 22-21 advantage, a score that held up until the final period.

All of Riddell’s touchdowns in the final stanza were big gains—the first was 20, then 21, and finally 23, while dragging a Unionville defender for the final six yards. An interception from Sean Glatts, his second of the game, put the final nail in the coffin. 

AG’s Sean Glatts goes down the sideline following one of his two interceptions on the night (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

“We really came together as a team,” said Riddell. “We didn’t know for sure if this was going to be our final game or not, so as a senior, it was important to come out and give everything we had. Unionville has always been a big rival, so I’m happy than I’ve ever been right now.”

The Red Devils will get at least one more game, and possibly two. But for now, should feel free to celebrate a nice victory.

Avon Grove 42 Unionville 21

Unionville 7 14 0 0–21
Avon Grove 7 15 0 21–42

First Quarter
UN–Farrell 86-pass from McCloskey (Dym kick) 7-0
AG–Walsh 2-run (Smith kick) 7-7
Second Quarter
UN–Grim 11-pass from McCloskey (Dym kick) 14-7
AG–Hershey 66-pass from Walsh (Riddell run) 15-14
UN–Farrell 28-pass from McCloskey (Dym kick) 21-15
AG–Kennedy 24-pass from Walsh (Smith kick) 22-21
Fourth Quarter
AG–Riddell 20-run (kick fail) 28-21
AG–Riddell 21-run (Smith kick) 35-21
AG–Riddell 23-run (Smith kick) 42-21
team statistics


First downs 11-10

Rushes-yards 29-78 33-185

Passing 9-18 7-9

Passing yards 176 152

Total yards 254 337

Punts 4-33.75 4-39.5

Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-0

Penalties-yards 3-30 4-40

Individual statistics

Rushing— UN–Grim 8-25, McCloskey 14-45, Kelly 2-5, Bennink 5-5

Passing — UN–McCloskey 9-18-176, 3TD, 2 INT, AG–Walsh 7-9, 152, TD, INT

Receiving —UN–Farrell 8-172, 2TD, Grim 1-4 AG–Hershey 3-95 TD, Glatts 3-33, Kennedy 1-24 TD

Sacks– none
Interceptions–UN–Sassi, AG–Glatts 2

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