BEARS HOLD ON TO A 44-33 VICTORY OVER MUSTANGS By Jasmine Desarae
Mercer, Pennsylvania – The Union City Bears held on to their 44-33 win over the Mercer Mustangs. It was a big night for Gavin Henry as he broke Union City’s rushing record before the first half was over. Though the team was not making a big deal of it on the field, it added to the difficult victory.
The Bears started with a touchdown early in the first quarter. Brayden Kinney, Gavin Henry and Logan Kesselring moved the ball down the field to help UC put the first points on the board. After the two-point conversion, the score was 8-0 with 9 minutes left in the first. Union City made a big stop on the Mercer offense, getting the ball back again.
They did not hang on to the ball as it was fumbled and recovered by Mercer. After 17 yards, the Mustangs were in for a touchdown, almost evening of the score 8-6. After a second fumble by the Bears, Mercer had another chance to score. Brian Shevitz ran it in for a 30-yard touchdown putting the Mercer Mustangs ahead for the first time, 13-8.
The Bears quickly answered with Kinney running in for a 11-yard TD and a two-point conversion. UC was in the lead again 16-13. Mercer’s special teams responded fast as Shevitz ran about an 80-yard return for a touchdown. With a good extra point, Mercer was up 20-16.
Henry and Kinney took turns moving the ball down the field. Eventually, Kinney was in the endzone pushing the Bears ahead 24-20.
Mercer did not start their next drive well, receiving a holding penalty pushing them back to the 10-yard line – 1st and 20. On their next attempt, Matt Krause pushed the team back five more yards. It was 3rd and long, but Henry quickly made it fourth down. Mercer prepared for a punting situation, which Andrew Hoban blocked giving Crain Greeley the chance to pick it up and run in for a Union City Bears’ TD – 30-20.
The Bears defense met the Mustangs not allowing them to pick up the first down. Though UC received a penalty for running into the kicker, it was not enough to give the Mustangs a first down. A second flag was called on the Mercer coach for unsportmanslike conduct. The Bears received the ball again.
Henry wasted no time move the ball down the sideline for a touchdown. It was called back with two flags on the play – personal foul on Union City. The Bears were able to continue down the field despite penalty setbacks. Eventually, William Burgess was in for his first TD. Kinney running in for the extra two points made the score 38-20.
By the end of the first half, Gavin Henry broke Union City’s rushing record originally set by Dr. Matt Webb.
On Mercer’s first drive after halftime, Kinney intercepted the ball at the 10-yard line. After a few plays, Tallin Henry had a block to open a hole for Kinney to run through. The team kept moving in 6-7-yard runs. A pitch to Kinney was the power drive as he kicked it into gear and was never touched as he ran in for another touchdown.
At first, neither the Mustangs or Bears could make anything of their drives. Union City fumbled the ball on the snap and Mercer was able to take over with excellent field position. At the end of the third
quarter. The Bears defense would need a big stop on third down. Instead, they gave the Mustangs a 1st down after jumping offsides. Mercer was set up for a touchdown, trailing the Bears 44-27.
With adrenaline in the team, Mercer intercepted Union City’s offense. After a few pitches to Shevitz and penalties on the Bears, the Mustangs scored again – 44-33. After the Mustang’s defense stopped the Bears, time quickly ran out ending the game.
Despite a rough second half, the Union City Bears were able to hold on to a victory. Next week’s game will be at home when the Bears face the Maplewood Tigers. Friday September 28th will also be Homecoming and Wall of Achievement night.