In­di­ans im­press in run­away road win

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bruce Adams badams@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @mline­s­ports on Twit­ter

RAD­NOR >> For Unionville Fri­day night, a good ball-con­trol of­fense was the In­di­ans’ best de­fense in a 28-7 win against Rad­nor in the Dis­trict 1 5A quarterfinals at Prevost Field.

“The key tonight was our abil­ity to run the foot­ball,” said Unionville head coach Pat Clark. “Rad­nor has a re­ally ex­plo­sive of­fense, but we kept them off the field, and we fin­ished

our drives in the sec­ond half.”

Unionville gained 268 yards rush­ing on 63 car­ries Fri­day night, led by ju­nior run­ning back Con­nor Schilling (30 car­ries for 174 yards) and se­nior quar­ter­back Nick Sch­naars (21 car­ries for 83 yards). The In­di­ans picked up 21 first downs, com­pared to eight for Rad­nor.

Rad­nor head coach Tom Ryan said, “We tried ev­ery­thing – we mixed and matched on de­fense, and I just didn’t have an an­swer for their run game. Coach Clark does a heck of a job over there – that’s a heck of a foot­ball team we just played.”

Unionville (6-6), the 11th seed in Dis­trict 1 5A will ad­vance to play No. 2 Up­per Dublin in the dis­trict semi­fi­nals, while the sea­son is over for No. 3 Rad­nor (9-3). Up­per Dublin shut out Chel­tenham 27-0 Fri­day.

The In­di­ans ground out a touch­down on their first pos­ses­sion, a 12-play, 68-yard drive capped by a 26-yard TD pass from Sch­naars to Alex Pele­grin with 7:33 left in the first quar­ter.

Rad­nor took just 16 sec­onds to tie the score. On the Raiders’ first play from scrim­mage, quar­ter­back Sean Mullarkey hit Teddy Gir­ton with a jump pass, and the se­nior wide re­ceiver took it all the way to the end zone for a 64-yard touch­down to make it 7-7.

Unionville con­trolled the ball in the first half, pick­ing up 12 first downs to Rad­nor’s three, and main­tain­ing a 40-18 edge in plays run, but penal­ties (seven for 45 yards in the first half) and two un­pro­duc­tive field goal at­tempts tem­po­rar­ily stalled the In­di­ans’ at­tack and the score re­mained 7-7 at half­time.

Rad­nor re­ceived the sec­ond­half kick­off and moved the ball into Unionville ter­ri­tory, but on 4th-and-6 from the In­di­ans’ 26, a fourth-down pass headed to­ward the end zone was alertly bro­ken up by Unionville se­nior Jef­frey Lang.

Then, the In­di­ans’ run­ning at­tack took over. Unionville’s first pos­ses­sion was 15 con­sec­u­tive run­ning plays for 74 yards – and a touch­down. By the time Sch­naars plunged over from the 3 yard line for a TD, there was just 2:31 left in the third quar­ter.

Unionville head coach Pat Clark said, “Cole Shee­han, our se­nior cen­ter, has been the leader of our of­fen­sive line. We’re also play­ing four 11th-graders, and it took a few weeks for those four to round into form, and we’re kind of hit­ting our stride now.”

The four ju­niors are Austin Wee­ber, Ryan Son, Gabe D’An­gelo and Michael Burns. D’An­gelo re­placed an­other ju­nior, co-cap­tain De­clan Boyle, out with an in­jury, sev­eral weeks ago.

“Jef­frey Lang at tight end also did a good job block­ing for us tonight,” said Clark. “I’m re­ally proud of the way our of­fen­sive line has worked and im­proved this sea­son.”

Schilling said, “Our of­fen­sive line blocked amaz­ingly tonight. Our of­fen­sive line stepped it up in the sec­ond half of the sea­son. They opened up big holes I was able to run through tonight. We kind of shot our­selves in the foot in the first half tonight with penal­ties, but we picked it up in the sec­ond half.”

On the third play of Rad­nor’s next pos­ses­sion, Sch­naars in­ter­cepted Mullarkey’s pass, giv­ing Unionville the ball at the Raiders’ 35 yard line. The In­di­ans marched down­field for an­other touch­down, us­ing seven run­ning plays and one pass. Schilling’s seven-yard TD run made it 21-7 with 9:02 left.

Rad­nor se­nior linebacker Kieran Sheri­dan said, “Unionville had a cou­ple of drives, they def­i­nitely just pounded us de­fen­sively. You get worn down. It’s just tough.”

De­fen­sively, there were many con­trib­u­tors for Unionville.

Unionville se­nior out­side linebacker Alex Pele­grin, who in­ter­cepted a Rad­nor pass in the first half, said, “The key for us was be­ing phys­i­cal and fast the whole game. We locked down all of Rad­nor’s great skill play­ers, and our de­fen­sive line played phe­nom­e­nal. Our in­side lineback­ers con­tained any crossers in the mid­dle, and our d-backs shut them down.”

Clark said, “When­ever we needed to make a play on de­fense tonight, every­body out there stepped up. Alex was vo­cal out there, Eli Lyons on the nose was re­ally good tonight, Gabe McLaugh­lin had a good game at in­side linebacker, and Con­nor Schilling, af­ter run­ning with the ball most of the night, played great de­fense for us. Jef­frey Lang had that big fourth­down pass breakup.”

So it’s on to Up­per Dublin for the de­fend­ing Dis­trict 1 cham­pi­ons next Fri­day, where they will face the Car­di­nals, who shut out No. 7 seed Chel­tenham, 27-0, Fri­day night.

“I was re­ally proud of our team tonight,” said Clark. “It’s nice to see us show up to play in No­vem­ber.”

“I was speech­less at the end of the game,” said Pele­grin. “Get­ting a chance to go for the dis­trict cham­pi­onship again is a great feel­ing; words can’t de­scribe it right now. We’re go­ing to take what we learned from this game and move on to next week.

“Our team has great chem­istry. We started off slow, but ev­ery­one is click­ing, fir­ing on all cylin­ders; it’s just all re­ally com­ing to­gether in the post-sea­son, and I’m re­ally ex­cited to see how we keep play­ing. I’ll be watch­ing game film tonight, get­ting ready for next week, and so will my team­mates.”

Schilling said, “At the end of the game, I felt amaz­ing, just know­ing that we get to go to dis­trict semi­fi­nals, and keep go­ing, try to de­fend our dis­trict ti­tle from last year.”

For Rad­nor’s Tom Ryan, it was a tough – but fond –farewell to 26 Raider se­niors.

MICHAEL REEVES — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Unionville’s Nick Sch­nanns (2) scores a Touch­down in the third quar­ter Fri­day night at Rad­nor.

MICHAEL REEVES — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Unionville’s Con­nor Schilling (28) runs with the ball in the third quar­ter.

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