Unionville rushes past Oxford, 56-18

Indians’ seniors end season well with strong effort

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times


Unionville’s Michael Weber races up field with a game-changing interception — a 100-yard return for a score — that broke open a close game, as the Indians raced past Oxofrd, 56-18, Friday night. Jim Gill photo.

OXFORD — For the Unionville High School football team, it was a good ending.

Obviously, being out of the PIAA District One AAAA playoff picture for the first time in a number of years meant it wasn’t the ending the Indians (6-4, 4-2 Ches Mont American) hoped for at season’s start, but Friday night’s 56-18 win over Oxford left a lot of smiles on faces for the team and its coaching staff.

Aside from going out with a strong effort —and using an old-school Unionville rushing attack that punished the Hornets right from the start, grinding out 261 yards — as Brendan Boyle ran for 83, Brandon Boon ran for 67 more and a score, and senior Austin Hofmann-Reardon capped his career with a pair of rushing touchdowns and 56 yards on the ground.

After a couple of disappointing losses, the win allowed the season to end on a high note for Unionville.

“I felt our kids rebounded well,” Unionville head coach Pat Clark said. “We had a stretch where we played some good teams and then on top of that we made mistakes against those good teams. But it was never for lack of effort on their part. I think that’s the nice thing about our program, our kids always give 100%. it might not work out the way you want, but everything kind of fell into place tonight.”


Unionville quarterback Alex Pechin didn’t throw much Friday against Oxford, but he made it count when he did, completing three of four including two TD passes — and he caught one, too. Jim Gill photo.

Second — a number of seniors, including Hofmann-Reardon as noted — were able to go out big. Start with Michael Weber, who managed 100-yard interception TD return, picking off Oxford quarterback Dan Green at the goal line and racing the distance, stopping a Hornet drive. Or Quinn Cheney, who picked off another pass. Two more seniors — who have played key roles throughout their Unionville careers were given a chance to fulfill dreams once the game got out of hand and both teams started subbing in younger players.

Senior center Andrew Jones — a four year starter — finally got to be the beneficiary of someone else blocking, and lined for a carry, gaining six yards on his first career rush attempt. And quarterback Alex Pechin — limited to 3 of 4 passing for 72 yards, thanks to the effective Indian run game — got to catch a pass for a score, hauling in a 20-yarder from Jason Hagen in the final quarter.

With the game under control, Clark said he felt the seniors deserved a shot for something special in the final moments of their careers.

“The program is about the kids,” Clark said. “I owe the kids every year, Ive come to realize that I’m lucky to be the caretaker of it. But the kids are the ones who really control what happens. I coudn’t ask for more from that group (the seniors) — it was only nine of them that played all four years. That core of nine kids, they won a league championship they went to the playoffs — those kids accomplished a heck of a lot for us.”


After four years of blocking for others, senior center Andrew Jones got his shot to carry the ball late in the game. Jim Gill photo.

And although Oxford showed some fight — and clearly some talented skill position players — Unionville’s offensive and defensive lines dominated the game. The Indians could basically run at will, while Oxford — with one or two exceptions — had trouble moving the ball behind talented running back Zach Deasey. Green — and his star receiver Ryan Hubley — had a strong game throwing the ball, passing for more than 200 yards, but the Hornets could not sustain offense, and in particular struggled on fourth down (a number of times, with the ball at midfield, Oxford decided to punt, but couldn’t convert, giving Unionville a short field).

Unionville’s first drive — a 59-yard exhibition of ground-pounding — set the tone for the game, Boyle and Boon kept finding running room up the middle. Hofmann-Reardon capped the drive with a two-yard run to make it 7-0.

After stalling the Hornets at midfield and getting a fourth down turnover, the Indians again just pounded the ball down the field, with Pechin’s 13-yard run, capping a 51-yard drive.


Unionville’s Austin Hofmann-Reardon capped a solid senior season with a pair of scores, Friday. Jim Gill photo.

Oxford responded, though, with long drive of its own, covering 77 yards on nine plays — Deasey racing in from 34 yards for the score. Oxford attempted a two-point conversion and failed, leaving the score 14-6.

After Unionville fumbled on the second play following the kickoff — giving Oxford the ball at its own 47, the Hornets looked to cranking up the pressure on Unionville, driving the ball inside the Unionville 5. But then Weber stepped in front on a Green pass and raced the distance up the right side. With a Pechin extra point — in a flash, the Indians went from looking at a potentially tied game, to a comfortable 21-6 lead.

“We were in trouble,” Clark said. “They’re moving the ball, we’re in trouble and what a way for Michael Weber to go out, to step in and get a play. Web’s been great, he’s been basically a three-year starter for us at linebacker. He got knocked out of the Rustin game, missed last week, got a chance to get back this week, and what a nice for the kid to go out. That was a huge play for the team.”

That seemed to change the game for good, as Oxford never seriously challenged again.

On the Unionville’s next possession as the half wore down, Pechin threw his first two passes of the game, both completions, the second a 31-yard score to Boon, making the score 28-6.

Oxford managed one more drive before the half, driving 81 yards and scoring on a Green pass to Brad Way, but another failed two-point attempt left the score 28-12 at the half.

After Unionville’s first drive stalled on a rare missed field goal attempt by Pechin, Cheney’s pickoff put the Indians right back in business on the Oxford 30. Immediately, Pechin found Boon again for a scoring TD, to make it 35-12.

After forcing another Oxford punt, Unionville ground out one more drive, taking the ball 62 yards on seven plays, with Hofmann-Reardon scoring from 22 yards out. Shortly thereafter, Oxford fumbled on its 30, giving the Indians another short field. This time, Boon raced in from 25 yards to make it 49-12. With the game completely out of hand, Unionville scored one last time, on the Hagen to Pechin pass, a 20-yarder, to make it 56-12.

Oxford’s offense was able to grind out one more score, largely facing a back up Unionville defense with Green hitting Hubley for a 25-yard score.

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