PLEASANTON — Riding a five-game winning streak, Pleasanton entered Friday night’s contest against Uniontown on quite the roll. With a multitude of things on the line, such as district standings, an undefeated season, and a Three Rivers League championship, the Blu-Jays delivered.
Pleasanton raced out to a 20-point lead in the first half but needed a strong fourth quarter to win as Uniontown scored 20 unanswered points to tie the game. Ultimately, Pleasanton was able to do enough to take a 26-20 victory in the Class 1A District 1 opener.
With Friday’s win, Pleasanton improved to a spotless 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the district heading into their week seven tilt with St. Mary’s Colgan. More importantly the Blu-Jays clinched their first outright TRL championship for the first time in ten years.
As for Uniontown, they dropped to 1-5 on the year and 0-1 in the district. The Eagles have now dropped three straight games as they prepare to face Yates Center.
The Blu-Jays controlled the first half of Friday night’s contest, striking for three touchdowns before halftime.
Pleasanton’s Cole Cunningham started the scoring off with a bang, intercepting a Ty Davidson pass and returning the ball 98-yards for a touchdown, putting the Blu-Jays faithful into a frenzy. The 2-point conversion was no good, but Pleasanton lead 6-0. Cunningham’s pick-six was the lone score of the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, Kaden McKee capped off the first successful offensive drive for Pleasanton by scoring on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. The Pleasanton lead increased to 12-0 with 5:48 remaining in the quarter.
To cap off the scoring in the first half, quarterback Kaden McKee hit his brother Kasen McKee in stride for a 67-yard touchdown as time expired. On the ensuing 2-point try, Kaden McKee found Cunningham in the endzone. Up 20-0 at the half, the Blu-Jays had all the momentum.
Uniontown received the ball to begin the second half and they worked quickly down the field. Quarterback Ty Davidson scampered into the endzone from 30-yards out just seconds into the third quarter. The conversion was no good and Uniontown still trailed Pleasanton 20-6. Whatever Eagles’ coach Jeremy Neville said to his team in the locker room had clearly worked.
Pleasanton’s first drive of the second half also appeared to be headed for the endzone. The Blu-Jays had marched all the way down to the Eagles’ 6-yard line. However, on the next play Uniontown’s Andrew Reed jumped into the passing lane, intercepting a Kaden McKee pass. Nobody would catch Reed as he returned the interception 94-yards for a score. A successful 2-point conversion had the Eagles inching closer to Pleasanton’s lead, now down only 20-14.
Later in the third quarter, Uniontown seemed poised to tie the game at 20-20. Kaden McKee had other ideas though, as he intercepted Ty Davidson at the Pleasanton 10-yard line and returning all the way to the 40-yard line. It seemed as if Pleasanton may have a chance to pull away, but the Blu-Jays fumbled the ball right back to Uniontown on the very next play.
The Eagles began the fourth quarter with the ball on the Pleasanton 1-yard line. Ty Davidson wasted no time as he scored from 1-yard out on a quarterback sneak. Although the 2-point try was no good, Uniontown had scored 20 unanswered points to tie the game.
With 6:22 remaining in the contest, Kaden McKee put the Blu-Jays up for good. As the ball was marked at the Uniontown 2-yard line, McKee kept it himself to score the games final touchdown to give Pleasanton a 26-20 lead.
The Eagles did mount a late comeback attempt, but on a 4th down and 4 they were flagged for 15-yards. On 4th and 19 they were unable to convert. After the turnover on downs Pleasanton was able to run out the clock.
As the game ended, the Pleasanton players, coaches, and fans celebrated their first TRL championship in ten years.
Ty Davidson paced Uniontown’s offense, rushing 15-times for 176-yards and 2 touchdowns. Andrew Reed carried the ball 26-times for 74-yards and Hayden Miller pitched in for 60-yards rushing. Defensively Miller and Reed both finished the night with 11 tackles while Nick Hathaway had 9 tackles. Reed snagged 1 interception and returned it 94-yards for a score. Both Drew Perry and Davidson finished with 6 tackles as well.
Stats were not available at the publish time of this article for the Blu-Jays. However, Kaden McKee led the Blu-Jays offensively. He did it both on the ground and through the air, scoring a total of 3 touchdowns on the night. Cole Cunningham also had a 98-yard interception that was returned for a touchdown.
UNIONTOWN 0 0 14 6 = 20
PLEASANTON 6 14 0 6 = 26
Class 1A District 1 Standings
|St. Marys Colgan||1-0||21||4-2|
X= Champion; Y=Runner-Up; E= Eliminated
(Photo Credit to Danny Looney)