Stout defense carries Unionville

Unionville's Jimmy Gill brings down Great Valley quarterback Graham Lucas for a big loss.

Just moments later, Pats’ punter Richie Eppleman stepped on the end line, receiving a high snap for a safety and a Unionville 9-0 lead. Unionville then took the ensuring kickoff back to its own 47 and quickly moved the ball. Popham picked up eight, then Gades found Doug Ott for 22 yards down the sideline. Gades then raced the ball in from 23 yards out — and with 5:11 left in the first quarter, the Indians had a commanding 16-0 lead.

Popham added a second quarter, 6-yard run for a score — although the extra point attempt was blocked — to give Unionville a 22-0 lead early in the second quarter. Great Valley got it’s only points when a David Kurey pump was blocked and recovered in the end zone by the Patriots. Unionville added a second safety when a fourth-quarter punt by Eppleman was blocked.

Unionville's Mason Popham breaks into the open on a long run.

“For the last six years, they’ve really thrown the football well against us, they’ve always given us fits,” Clark said. “So this was the first time in four or five years that we really handled the pass game well.”

While it might not have been a perfect performance, Clark was pleased with the solid effort from his team.

“I thought we were good for the situation, but I think we can be better,” Clark said.

Although the schedule says that upcoming games against Octorara — the only team Great Valley has beaten this season — and Kennett, neither may be as easy as they look on paper.

Unionville quarterback Connor Gades breaks into the open on what would be a 23-yard touchdown run.

“Octorara is a heck of a football team,” Clark said. “I saw them last night, boy, those kids are good. Good solid offensively and great skill kids. We have to play better — it’s another challenge for us, but I think we’ll be up for it.”

One other concern: a quick scan of the sidelines shows an increasing number of injured players — and until those veterans come back, it means younger players will need to step up, Clark said.

“We’re the walking wounded right now, but I think everyone is at this time of year,” Clark said. “To our kids credit, they put in all the offseason work and the preseason work, so the next man is always ready to go. With a week, those kids will be better, they were okay for us today, but with a week of practice, we shouldn’t miss a beat.”

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