MOUNT UNION GROUNDS OUT WIN
Written by: Billy Splain on Saturday, October 11th, 2008
As the members of the media gathered before the game on the sidelines to discuss the fact that we were watching two teams battle for playoff contention that were not common contenders and how nice this was to see we heard someone yell out a question that punctuated that fact: “Hey, I didn’t think you guys knew how to get to this field or even remember where Mt. Union was!” The homecoming team this night made sure we’d remember where we were.
Led by tailback Zach Hicks (24 runs for 141 yards)and fullback Malakia Jackson (9 runs for 134 yards) the Mt. Union Trojans ground out an impressive win over Everett 28-12 despite an incredibly gutsy performance from Warriors qb Brad Swindell who passed for 235 yards and 2 tds despite being harassed all night long by Mt. Unions huge line. But if you ask the Trojans head coach Dave Hummel who the stars were tonight he’d tell you “my boys on the front line are something special and tonight they proved it”.
Taking the opening kickoff coach Hummels “boys up front” opened gaping holes and starting from their 31 the Trojans marched downfield to the endzone for the first score of the night, an 8 yard td pass from qb Jimmy Smith to Hicks. This drive was hightlighted by a 24 yard keeper and a pass to hicks on 3rd and 8 for 16 yards. Thats 2 passes in one drive from a team who AVERAGES 2 passes per night. “we’re gearing up for bigger things by adding more passing to our game. We know you don’t win playoff games by just running” said coach Hummel.
It didn’t take Everetts explosive offensive long to answer. On third and 10 from their 38 qb Swindell hit Cory Waltman with a short out pass and he was off to the races for a 62 yard score. The pat failed leaving the score 7-6 in favor of Mt. Union. Both teams then began a grinding and hard hitting series of possessions that led them up and down the field without scoring, then with 40 seconds left in the second quarter Mt. Unions Jimmy Smith hit Will Hockenberry in the endzone for a 26 yard td. A penalty on the extra point attempt was accepted by the Trojans and Smith ran for the 2 pointer giving them a 15-6 lead.
Everett took the ball with 36 second left in the half and on 3 and 4 from their 46 Brad Swindell scrambled back 10 yards chased by several Trojan defenders, broke loose and heaved the ball downfield where a leaping and twisting Waltman snagged the ball and landed on his back with the catch…one yard short of the endzone as time expired in the half. “That was a heartbreaker, I thought he was in” said Everett coach Tom Waltman.
The second half was not less exciting. After a 3 adn out by Everett that huge Mt. Union line took control and they marched down field behind the pounding legs of Hicks and a 33 yard pass on 1st and 18. Hicks capped the drive with a 6 yard run, the point after failed and the Trojans led 21-6.
The 4th quarter saw Everett quarterback Swindell almost single handedly try to bring his team back as he scrambled, dove, threw and ran taking monstrous hits and at one point got hit so hard he had to crawl off the field. He came back on their next series and led his team down to the 13 only to have his pass to Waltman intercepted in the endzone.
Mt. Union fullback Jackson then put the game out of reach with a spectacular 51 yard td run off left side. The score with 5 minutes left in the game was 28-6. Everett would strike back with a 12 yard td pass to Waltman giving them 6 more with 4 minutes left but it was too little too late. Mt. Union would then grind out the clock, giving this team it’s biggest win so far this season. The trojans next play Bedford and then close out the season with a looming playoff implicated district 6 matchup at Bellwood Antis. Everett closes with Williamsburg and Claysburg Kimmel
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