|Photo by Bill Rudick/ Unionville's Brad Pechin hits the hole during Friday's win over Octorara.|
By BILL RUDICK
EAST MARLBOROUGH — It’s been four years since Unionville was atop the Ches-Mont American Division. After Friday night, the Indians are one win from the mountaintop.
With a 55-30 win over visiting Octorara, the Indians control their destiny in the division, and can win it outright with a win over rival Kennett Next week.
“Now we just have to beat Kennett next week,” said Unionville running back Brad Pechin, “because we don’t want to share.”
Unionville caught the first big break of the game within seconds of the start of the contest. Octorara fumbled the opening kickoff, and Unionville recovered at the Braves’ 8-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Tom Pancoast ran it in from eight yards out.
But Octorara answered right back, as it would for much of the first half. On its first possession the Braves marched 65 yards on 14 plays, capped by a 36-yard dash to the endzone on a fourth-and-one play by Cory Cooper.
Cooper was one of two Braves to top the 100-yard plateau for Octorara. Alex Gooden led all rushers on the night with 176 yards on 20 carries, while Coooper added 129 yards and scoring runs of 34 and 43 yards to help keep the Braves in the thick of things for most of the first half. Add a 31-yard field goal by Nate Byerly, and the Braves were within four points at 21-17 deep into the second period.
But then Unionville’s defense came up with a big stop, and the offense began to open things up. Just before the end of the half, Alex Pechin connected with Tim Christopher, with Christopher making a diving catch in the corner of the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown and a 34-17 halftime lead.
“We actually had a pretty strong first half, too,” said Unionville coach Pat Clark. “We put up 34 points in two periods. Plus defensively, we held them to a field goal on one drive, and came up with a cuple stops at the end of the half. I think we made good adjustments starting at the end of the second period.”
Two third-period touchdowns, one an 8-yard run from Pancoast, the other a 34-yard jaunt for Prechin, and the Indians had put together four unanswered scores to blow the game open.
Pechin led the way for the Unionville rushing attack, rolling up 165 yards on 13 carries. Pancoast chipped in with 79 yards on the ground, and scored four of the Unionville touchdowns.
“All those yards were the line, not me,” said Prechin. “Ryan Ford, Andrew Jones, Luke Metexas, David Brooks, Paul Steffi, Lenny Johnson and John McLaughlin were incredible up front. The holes they were opening up were just huge. It let me just get into a rhythm, see the hole and hit it.”
Now the only thing standing between the Indians and sole possession of its first title in four years is its neighborhood rival, Kennett.
“Kennett has a nice program, and coach Scott Green is a class act,” said Clark. “I hope they go 9-1 every year, as long as that loss is in the last game of the year against us.”
Unionville 55, Octorara 30
Octorara 14 3 0 13 -- 30
Unionville 14 20 14 7 -- 55
Un--Pancoast 5 run (Daly kick)
Oc--Coeper 36 run (Byerly kick)
Un--Pancoast 51 run (Daly kick)
Oc--DeJesse 1 run (Byerely kick)
Un-Pancoast 14 run (Daly kick)
OC--Byerly 31 field goal
Un--B. Pechin 8 run (Daly kick)
UN--Christopher 28 pass from A. Pechin (Daly kick)
Un-Pancoast 8 run (Daly kick)
Un B Pechin 34 run (Daly kick)
Oc--Norris 13 run (kick failed)
Un-Stradling 1 run (A. Pechin kick)
Oc--Cooper 43 run (Byerly kick)
First downs 17 9
Yards rushing 351 299
Yards passing 59 98
Total yards 410 397
Passing 4-11-0 4-5-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties 5-55 5-60
Punts-Avg. 0-0 0-0
RUSHING - Octorara: Gooden 20-176; Cooper 14-129, 2 TDs; Norris 7-30, TD; DeJesse 5-10, TD; Hill 1-6, Unionville: B. Pechin 13-165, 2 TDs; Pancoast 6-79, 4 TDs; DiBaggio 3-39; Stradling 3-11, TD; A. Pechin 1-56.
PASSING - Octorara: Gooden 4-11-0, 59 yards. Unionville: A. Pechin 3-4-0, 87 yards, TD; Pancoast 1-1-0, 11 yards.
RECEIVING - Octorara: Butler 2-24; DiNorscia 1-22; Thomas 1-12. Unionville: Nash 2-59; Christopher 1-28; Rosenberg 1-11.
SACKS - None.
INTERCEPTIONS - None.