Southeast picks up first win since 2014 after defeating Uniontown

UNIONTOWN — The Southeast Lancers’  had not won a football game in over three seasons. Tonight that all changed. A touchdown on their opening drive as well as two fourth quarter touchdowns proved to be the difference for the Lancers. On a night where neither team appeared to have played its best game, Southeast was able to grind out enough plays to emerge victorious.

With the win Southeast begins the season 1-0 (1-0 TRL) while Uniontown starts off 2018 0-1 (0-1 TRL).

Uniontown began the game with possession of the ball inside their own 30-yard line. Opening up in their wishbone offense, the Eagles were able to grind out a first down after three runs up the middle. However, not much went right after that. The Eagles were flagged for a hold on first down, sacked for a loss on second down, and lost yardage on third down forcing a punt.

Southeast would open the 2018 season with a statement drive. The Lancers marched down the field for a touchdown during a 15-play, 65-yard drive. On the first play of the drive quarterback Brett Malle hit running back Zaden Hendricks over the middle for a 17-yard gain. Even after being flagged three separate times for false starts, the Lancers still were able to drive into the Eagles’ redzone. On the fifteenth play of the drive, quarterback Bryce Peterson rolled out to the right side looking for the endzone. With an Eagles’ defender bearing down on him, Peterson threw the ball off his back foot and hit a diving Garrett Evans for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion was no good, but nonetheless Southeast led 6-0 with 57 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Eagles looked to respond after the Southeast touchdown, but were eventually stopped on fourth and short with the ball just inches from the line to gain.

With great field position at the Uniontown 45-yard line, the Lancers again drove deep into Eagle territory. Southeast’s second drive however, would end similarly to how Uniontown’s did: being stopped by inches on fourth and short.

The two teams would go on to swap sloppy drives during the second quarter as Southeast fumbled on back-to-back drives, while Uniontown had a punt blocked. However, late in the second quarter the Eagles’ offense appeared to have come to life. Quarterback Ty Davidson hit running back Hayden Miller in the flat for a 13-yard gain. On the next play Davidson called his own number on a quarterback keeper, rushing for 18-yards to the Lancers’ 5-yard line. With less than 10 seconds remaining the Eagles were forced to use their final timeout. In what would seemingly be the final play of the half, Davidson took the snap from the center and rolled out to his right. Not seeing any open receivers, Davidson tucked the ball and scampered towards the endzone. In a diving attempt Davidson met two Lancer defenders head on at the goal line, but was able to score as the clock expired. The 2-point try was unsuccessful, leaving the score at an even 6-6 heading into halftime.

Both teams opened the second half with back-to-back punts.

On the third drive of the half, Southeast was faced with a third and medium. Eagles’ defender Chance Fuhrman was able to sack the quarterback, forcing a fourth down and halting the drive.  The ensuing punt was then returned 75-yards by the Eagles’ Andrew Reed for a touchdown. The momentum appeared to be shifting to Uniontown. However, there was a penalty called on the Eagles during the punt return nullifying the touchdown.

On their next drive, Uniontown would have the ball 11-plays before turning the ball over to Southeast due to a fumble near the 50-yard line.

After gaining possession of the ball, Lancers’ quarterback Brett Malle hit running back Jakob Tavernaro over the middle for a 22-yard gain to end the third quarter. Eventually Southeast’s Bryce Peterson would cap off the long drive with a 3-yard quarterback keeper, scoring a touchdown to put Lancers up by a score. Tavernaro converted the 2-point attempt, leaving the score 14-6 in favor of Southeast with a little over ten minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Needing a big-time response, the Eagles’ offense took over at their own 20-yard line. It appeared that Uniontown was doing just that, marching deep into Southeast territory. Ty Davidson hit tight end Jake Harvey to convert a third down, gaining 11-yards. Davidson then rushed the ball 26-yards. Running back Andrew Reed followed up Davidson’s long gain with his own, rushing for 21-yards down to the Lancers 12-yard line. Then disaster struck the Eagles, as a fumble ended their drive at the Lancer 10-yard line. While it was only mid-way through the fourth quarter, Uniontown seemed to have the wind knocked out of their sails.

Southeast would capitalize off the turnover, grinding precious time off the clock as they marched down the field.  On second and long Quarter Bryce Peterson found wide receiver Reece Jacobs across the middle for a 47-yard gain. After eight more rushes, Jakob Tavernaro eventually scored from 12-yards out, pushing the Lancers’ lead to 20-6 with only 48 seconds remaining. The 2-point conversion was no good, but the damage had been done.

In desperation mode, Uniontown’s Ty Davidson was picked off by Lancers’ cornerback Reece Jacobs, essentially ending the ball game. A celebration ensued on the Southeast sideline, as fans, coaches and players celebrated their first victory in over three years.

After the contest Eagles’ head coach Jeremy Neville said, “We did not play disciplined, physical, aggressive football. Too many penalties and mistakes were made.” Despite Southeasts’s recent struggles, coach Neville knew that this was not a game to overlook. “Southeast is much improved and we knew they would be” said Neville. To finish, Neville relayed that “we did a lot of things that we have not shown in practice. I am not sure why, but we abandoned attention to detail and did things that we know we are not supposed to do.”

Uniontown was led on defense by Andrew Reed who finished the night with 10 tackles. Ty Davidson and Hayden Miller chipped in 9 tackles a piece, while Chance Fuhrman had 6 tackles and a sack. On offense, Reed carried the ball 21 times for 81-yards. Davidson rushed 12 times for 68-yards and 1 touchdown. Miller added 20-yards on 5 carries.

Southeast head coach Jerrad Hansen said after the game, “I felt like the boys played their hearts out tonight. They have been putting in a ton of work and it showed tonight on the field.” While they did come out on top, coach Hansen still sees ways for his team to improve saying, “We still made some mental mistakes and had too many penalties and turnovers.” Hansen was proud of how his kids finished the game highlighting that “we finished our last drive strong to score to put us up by two touchdowns to seal the deal. We finished really well.” Moving forward, coach Hansen reiterated that “we just need to keep improving every week.”

Jakob Tavernaro had quite the night for the Lancers, finishing with 17 carries for 130-yards and 1 touchdown. Brett Malle added 40-yards rushing as well as 130-yard passing, completing 5/9 throws. Bryce Peterson carried the ball 7 times for 44-yards and added a touchdown throw the air as well. Zaden Hendricks rushed for 27-yards and caught two passes for 55-yards. Reece Jacobs finished with 72-yards receiving.

Looking ahead to week two, Southeast (1-0, 1-0 TRL) will host former 8-Man division Pleasanton on Friday (9/7). Uniontown (0-1, 0-1 TRL) will travel to Jayhawk-Linn to face the three time defending TRL champion Jayhawks on Friday (9/7) as well.

Southeast    0  6  0  14  =  20

Uniontown  0  6  0  0  =  6