One Two Punch Running Attack Leads UC Over Cochranton
By Jasmine Desarae
Union City, PA – In Friday night’s game against the Cochranton Cardinals, the Union City Bears came out on top with a fantastic 63-36 win. With this victory, the Bears are 2-0 in the region and 2-2 for the season.
The Cardinals received the kickoff to start the game. Quarterback Kohl Bernarding and running-back Curtis Freyemuth started off slow without moving the ball very far down the field. On a big third down play, Bernarding threw an incomplete pass. When it seemed the Bears might get the ball early in the first quarter, the first of many flags were thrown. The pass interference call gave the Cardinals an automatic first down. Bernarding continued to feed the ball to Freyemuth but could not complete another first down – until Union City was penalized for being offsides. With a third chance, Bernarding kept the ball and ran in for the first score of the game making it 6-0 with just under seven minutes left in the first quarter.
The Bears first drive was not as fortunate. Miles Parker began the drive strong as he ran the ball back for 17 yards. Gavin Henry made more plays for the Bears, moving them quickly down the field. It was ruined by a fumble recovered by the Cardinals. Cochranton used their go-to player, Freyemuth, to try and score again. Union City’s penalties helped the Cardinals move down the field, but it was not enough for another touchdown.
The Bears wasted no time when given the ball again. Blake Hornaman started the drive with a give to Henry who had a pickup of eight yards. When the ball was given to Brayden Kinney after, he had nothing but field in front of him. Kinney ran for 60 yards putting the Bears on the scoreboard for six points. He also added the two-point conversion which made the score 8-6 towards the end of the first quarter.
Cochranton immediately responded moving the ball toward the endzone and in for a touchdown with Freyemuth doing the work. The Cardinals took the lead for the second time 14-8. On the kickoff, Henry picked up the ball and ran back for 70 yards to score another touchdown for the Bears. The game was tied 14-14 until a pitch to Kinney gave the Bears two more points with 10:44 left in the half.
On their next drive, the Cardinals could not retaliate resulting in a punting situation. Parker received the ball again, running back for 26 yards. Henry and Kinney took turns running the ball until Henry was able to reach the endzone for another Union City Bears touchdown. With a little over six minutes left in the game, the score was now 24-14.
Bernarding kept the ball on the first play but was met by Matt Long and Judah Gardner for no gain. Bernarding returned to his go-to player, Freyemuth, who could only gain a few yards. On a pass play, the ball was intercepted by Kinney. Another flag was called on the Bears for roughing the passer, and the play was overturned. This gave the Cardinals another chance to score and they did not pass it up. With just over two minutes left in the half, the score became a close 24-20.
Cochranton picked off the Bears with two minutes left in the half, hoping to score one more time. Union City did not allow that to happen as their defense almost intercepted Bernarding and ended the drive by swarming him. Instead, Hornaman passed the ball to Kinney who ran it in for a touchdown making the score 32-20 before the half.
The second half did not begin well for Cochranton. Within a few plays, their strong running-back, Freyemuth was brought down with an injury. It looked to be a part of the leg. Freyemuth was helped off the field by two teammates as he could not put pressure on his leg. Stepping in for Freyemuth was Jon
Gallo. When the game resumed, Bernarding was tackled in the endzone, giving the Bears two points for a safety. The ball was kicked to Union City who was given another chance to add more points to their score. Henry ran down the field carrying two Cardinals with him. On the next play, Hornaman kept the ball inching closer to the endzone. When the ball was given to Kinney, he shed many tackles and ran 25-yards for another Bears touchdown. After Parker caught the two-point conversion, the score was 42-20.
On Cochranton’s next drive, Henry came to stop them again. When the Cardinals were 1st and goal, Henry sacked the quarterback, stripped the ball and scooped it up with 4:14 left in the third quarter. Kinney received another pitch and moved the ball about 50 yards, dragging a Cochranton defender for at least twenty yards. When Henry received the ball again, he ran up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown giving the Bears 50 points over the Cardinals 20.
One of the Cardinals players was ejected from the game after a personal foul. His anger led to his helmet being thrown and him sitting on the bench. At the end of the third quarter, another Cardinal, Garrett Long, was injured and limping off the field. Despite minor setbacks, Cochranton was in the endzone again with a quarterback keeper. Union City was not discouraged and used their star players, Kinney and Henry, to raise the score 56-28.
Early in the fourth quarter, Kinney intercepted the Cardinals and gave the Bears a chance to score again. At this point, the Bears coaching staff decided to put their second-string on the field. With Ryan Newton at quarterback, Union City scored another touchdown as Logan Kesselring ran the ball in for six points. Rather than attempting a two-point conversion, lineman Matt Long kicked the extra point for the second time this season which made the score 63-28.
The mercy rule went into effect with over six minutes left in the game. A pass interference call on the Bears helped the Cardinals advance toward the endzone. With a give to Gallo, Cochranton scored the last touchdown of the game making the ending score 63-36.
After tonight’s victory, Henry is just 152 yards away from the rushing record. Judging from his previous games, he could easily break the record soon. The Bears will travel to Mercer to battle the Mercer Mustangs, Friday, September 21, 2018.