Miscues cost Unionville, 31-13

Powerful Exeter team stymies Indians’ run game

By Al Tustin, Staff Writer, The Times


Pat Clark Jr. fights for the endzone scoring Unionville’s second and final TD of the night, as the Indians fell to Exeter, 31-13, Friday night. Jim Gill photo.

EAST MARLBOROUGH — The difference between very good and excellence often comes down to a lot of small things.

The Unionville High School football team may have learned that lesson Friday night in a 31-13 loss to visiting Exeter that was a much closer game than the final score might indicate.

The 1-1 Indians played with fire by making a handful of mental and physical mistakes against the 2-0 Eagles — a Berks County powerhouse — and it cost them in the end.

“We had to play a little better, we made too many mistakes,” Unionville Head Coach Pat Clark said after the game. “We forced mistakes on them, but we turn around and turned the ball over and that was kind of what hurt us. It wasn’t sloppy turnovers, it was heat of the battle, kids trying to make a play stuff.”

Still, Clark was encouraged at the effort level shown and thinks it bodes well for a very tough upcoming run of contests, starting with a resurgent Avon Grove (now coached by former Unionville Defensive Coordinator Harry O’Neill) and then showdowns with West Chester Rustin — which dominated crosstown rival Henderson Friday — and Downingtown East.

“I can’t fault their effort at all,” Clark said. “They played with great effort and intensity and we have some week two stuff to clean up.”

Another problem: the Indians struggled to find a way to contain Eagles’ QB Brandon Unterkoffer’s running and throwing. Underkoffer threw for 168 yards, often connecting with tight end Gabe Schappell — and used backs Chris Scott and Nick Sarangoulis to slash the Unionville defense up the middle.

Worse, for Unionville, it struggled to get its running game going against a big physical Exeter defense — senior Brandon Boon was help to just 31 yards on the ground, while senior QB Brendan Boyle was limited to just 23 yards on the ground. Boyle did throw for a pair of TD and 184 yards, as the Indians were forced to throw the ball with the run game stymied.

Still, the Indians looked ready to find a way to make it work, and did for much of the game.

After Scott gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead, Unionville struck back on an 18-yard completion from Boyle to Tyler Marmo. After a missed extra point, the Indians pulled to within 7-6. Then Pat Clark Jr. caught a Boyle pass over the middle for a 19-yard score and with Joe Zubillaga’s extra point, Unionville had a 13-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

From there, though, the game began to slip away.

Unterkoffer led two more drives in the second quarter — and it was the second one that proved decisive, with Unterkoffer scoring from 10 yards out to make the score 21-13.

Bentz added a 21-yard field goal and Sarangoulis rushed for a fourth-quarter TD to cap the scoring.

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