Thrilling 21-14 win over St. Joseph’s seals the deal for Indians
MECHANICSBURG — Winning a thrilling game — one that finished with a game-winning defensive stand — against one of only two teams that defeated it in 2013, the Unionville rugby team powered its way to the Pennsylvania Single-School rugby championship, Sunday, defeating St. Joseph’s, 21-14.
Winning any state title is exciting, but doing so in such thrilling fashion made the win all the more emotional.
“It was as exciting a rugby match as I have seen in my more than 20 years in the sport,” said Unionville head coach Curt Baker.
The Indians (13-2) had the best of the the play early in the tight contest, when Ryan Ford scored the first try of the game. With a Chris Baker conversion, Unionville grabbed an early 7-0 lead.
After St. Joe’s tied the game, Baker scored and converted to give the Indians a 14-7 halftime lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Tim Christopher scored for Unionville. With Baker’s conversion, the Indians had a solid, but far from safe 21-7 lead, with 16 minutes left in the match. But again, St. Joe’s responded, cutting the lead to 21-14.
The contest went down to the final seconds of the match, with St. Joe’s pushing the ball right to the door step of Unionville’s endzone, but the Indians hanging tough on defense as the clock expired to seal the victory and the state title.
Saturday, Unionville needed to defeat a tough Burrell team and did do, grabbing an early 43-0 lead, and holding on for a 43-19 win. Ford scored three tries, while Christopher had a pair.
For the season, Unionville’s best ever, the team outscored its opponents 645 to 188.