Union City Wins Region 2 Title With Win Over Cambridge Springs
By Jasmine Desarae
In a vicious battle between the Union City Bears and the Cambridge Springs Devils, the Bears fought their way to a victory. With a 44-27 win over the Devils, Union City took the Region 2 Championship title for the first time in eighteen years. It was also senior night for the Union City Bears football team, cheerleaders and band members. Nine football players and ten cheerleaders were honored prior to the start of the game. The nine band members were recognized during halftime. Congratulations to all the seniors!
Cambridge Springs took an early lead in the first quarter. Trenton Wheeler and Chase Shultz took charge on the ground to move down the field. Gavin Henry stopped Shultz momentarily driving him backwards to the line of scrimmage. Despite the defense’s effort to hold them back, the Devils made it into the endzone. Brayden Kinney and Henry easily blocked the extra point, keeping the score at 6-0.
On their first drive, Hornaman utilized Kinney and Henry, hoping to even the score. Despite fighting for yardage, the Bears turned over the ball on downs. Cambridge’s second drive was quickly shut down by the Bears’ defense. Matt Long had a huge hit on Shultz moving the Devils back a yard. Tyler Hedderick lead the Bears on another big stop. After William Burgess covered a deep pass by Wheeler, the Devils were forced to punt.
Miles Parker started Union City’s second drive with a strong stiff arm for an 11-yard return. Kinney weaved his way through Cambridge defenders to help advance the Bears. A few incomplete passes ended UC’s drive again.
Long and Logan Kesselring made big plays on defense to ultimately set up Cambridge Springs for fourth and long. Again, Parker took control on offense picking up sixteen yards with help from a block by Kinney. Henry moved UC to another first down. On the next play, the ball hit Henry’s hands and he flew, untouched, to the endzone. After Kinney was in for two-points, the Bears took the lead, 8-6.
Despite the defense’s effort, Cambridge was quick to respond. The Devils over came minor setbacks to pull ahead again 12-8. Now, the Bears could retaliate again. Hornaman pitched the ball to Kinney, Henry and Parker to inch UC closer to the goal line. On 1st and 10, a perfect pass by Hornaman landed in Burgess’ hands to set up a 30-yard touchdown. The battle for the lead continued with UC on top 16-2.
One play after the return, however, Wheeler passed the ball to Jacob Ferris who pushed to the endzone. With just 33 seconds left in the half, Cambridge was up 19-16. UC tried to answer the Devils’ call but could not respond. Hornaman was sacked, passes fell incomplete and on 3rd down Cambridge intercepted the ball bringing the first half to a close.
When quarter three began, the Bears made school history. As Kinney picked up another first down, he moved to over 1,000 yards rushing. Henry also reached that point at Friday night’s game, making it the first time the high school has ever had two rushers over 1,000 yards. The offense continued to make plays sending Kinney in for a bull-rushing touchdown. The Bears fought back to move forward by three points – 22-19. With adrenaline in their veins, UC’s defense put an end to Cambridge’s drive. Hornaman was in on the coverage on 2nd and 12. On the final play, Hornaman batted down Wheeler’s pass, forcing a punting situation.
The Bears were not as fortunate on offense. On the return, the ball came loose, and Cambridge was quick to recover. It was a game of cat and mouse as Matt Krause forced the Devils to fumble and Kinney jumped on the ball. The Bears took over at their own 10-yard line. On 1st and 10, Henry fought his way to a first down. Henry was literally covered by Devil Defenders and the crowd could no longer see him. The offensive line created huge blocks to allow the Bears to raise the score – 30-19.
The Devils responded by quickly moving to the endzone. A deep pass to Levi Henderson, lessened the Devil’s deficit – 30-27. Union City did not let Cambridge get into their head as they began their next drive. Kinney weaved through Devil defenders on 2nd and 6 until he crossed the goal line. With 28 seconds left in the third quarter, the Bears were ahead 36-27.
Burgess nearly intercepted Wheeler’s pass on 1st down. On 3rd down, Cambridge was penalized by a false start pushing them back five yards. On their second attempt, the Devils fumbled the ball, and Kinney pounced on it. Unfortunately, the Bears did not add to their lead with excellent field position. Instead, the Devils took over.
Union City was able to hold Cambridge to a field goal attempt, but it was no good. On their last big drive of the game, Henry, Hornaman, Kinney and the O-Line moved the Bears further down the field. On 2nd and 13, with the ball in his hands, Henry was on the loose for another Union City TD. On the Devils’ drive, Burgess intercepted the ball for a 20-yard return. The Bears were able to run out the remainder of the time to end the game with a win.
The Girard Yellow Jackets will be travelling to the Bears’ den next Friday, October 26th. This pick-up game will replace the Bears’ bye week. The Bears will face West Middlesex in the first round of the playoffs, on Friday, November 2nd.