Uniontown Overcomes First-Half Deficit, Defeats Maranatha Academy

UNIONTOWN, Kan. – After back-to-back losses, the Uniontown Eagles earned their third victory on the 2017 season here Friday night, defeating Maranatha Academy 34-26.

Maranatha Academy took the opening drive of the game 65-yards for a score. Quarterback Nate Burdette threw a touchdown strike to wide receiver Brock West to give Maranatha a 6-0 lead. The 2-point try was successful, leaving the score 8-0 in favor or Maranatha Academy.

On the ensuing possession, Uniontown’s running back Andrew Reed took a hand-off 51-yards for a score. Ty Davidson converted the 2-point try on a designed quarterback run. With 5:09 remaining in the first quarter, the score was even at 8-8.

Quickly moving down the field, Maranatha again found themselves in Uniontown territory. Nate Burdette would cap off the quick drive, tossing a 10-yard pass to big bodied wide receiver Andrew Fortin. The 2-point try was unsuccessful, resulting in a 14-6 Marantha lead with 3:35 remaining in the first quarter.

Uniontown’s next possession ended by way of a fumble that was recovered by Maranatha on the Eagle’s 30-yard line.

Plays later, Maranatha’s Nate Burdette would again find Andrew Fortin for a touchdown. Receiving the ball in stride, Fortin would take a pass over the middle 30-yards, out-racing the Eagle defense for a score. After another unsuccessful 2-point attempt, the scoreboard read 20-8 in favor of Maranatha Academy with 3:02 remaining in the quarter.

At the end of the first quarter, Maranatha lead Uniontown 20-8.

Early in the second quarter, Uniontown’s Ty Davidson would intercept Burdette’s fourth-down pass, leaving the Eagle’s with good field position.

Uniontown would capitalize on the swing in momentum, marching down all the way to the Maranatha 1-yard line. However, a fumbled quarterback-running back exchange was recovered by Maranatha, ending a promising Uniontown drive.

Needing a stop, the Eagles’ defense forced a Maranatha punt, giving the Uniontown excellent field position.

Refusing to be denied, the Eagles used their bruising tailback Gavin Fry, along with running backs Hayden Miller and Andrew Reed to again march inside the Maranatha 5-yard line. This time, Andrew Reed powered his way into the end zone. The 2-point try was no good, but the Eagles had cut into the Marantha lead, putting the score at 20-14.

After a booming kickoff by Uniontown’s Hayden Miller, Maranatha took over at their own 20-yard line. Gaining only 4-yards on first and second down, Nate Burdette threw a perfect pass to wide receiver Brock West, hitting him in stride for huge 76-yard touchdown. Another unsuccessful 2-point try left the score 26-14 with 2:37 remaining in the second quarter.

Trying to catch the Eagles off guard, Maranatha would opt to use a sky kick on the kickoff. The kick was muffed by an Eagle returner and recovered by Maranatha deep inside Uniontown territory.

The Uniontown defense needed a stop, or else Maranatha would take a commanding lead into halftime. Holding steady, the Eagle defense held Maranatha’s offense to short gains, forcing them into a fourth down. On a broken play, Maranatha’s Nate Burdette scrambled right, and lofted a pass near the end zone to wide receiver Brock West. However, Uniontown’s Ty Davidson again undercut the route, intercepting Burdette on the 3-yard line.

Uniontown headed into the locker room breathing a sigh of relief, avoiding disaster and only being down 26-14 at the half.

The Eagle’s received the the kickoff to begin the second half, and would matriculate down the field using their rushing attack. Ty Davidson capped off the impressive opening drive, scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Uniontown’s 2-point attempt was stuffed, but the Eagles had pulled withing 26-20 of Maranatha with 8:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Maranatha Academy took their ensuing drive down to the Uniontown 8-yard line, but the Eagle’s Gavin Fry came up with a huge goal line interception, returning the ball out all the way to the 45-yard line.

The Eagle’s rushing attack began to pound away at the Maranatha defense. A physical 32-yard run by Andrew Reed set Uniontown up at the 3-yard line. On the very next play, Reed would take a hand-off up the middle for a 3-yard score. Uniontown had tied the score at 26-26 with 4:28 remaining in the third. Hayden Miller would give the Eagles a 28-26 lead, converting the 2-point try.

Feeding off of the offense’s momentum, the Eagle’s defense forced the Maranatha offense into a quick three and out. Maranatha would use a delayed punt, allowing their defenders to get downfield quicker. However, Uniontown’s Andrew Reed took the delayed punt 51-yards for an electric touchdown, breaking three tackles en route to the end zone. The 2-point try was no good, but the Eagles extended their lead to 34-26, with 00:50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Attempting to regain the momentum, the Maranatha offense marched down the field, gashing the Uniontown defense for long gains. Maranatha had moved the ball withing the Eagle’s 3-yard line, but a false start took the ball back to the Uniontown 8-yard line. Looking for the end zone, Maranatha’s Nate Burdette would be intercepted for the fourth time on the night, this time by the Eagle’s Hayden Miller. Miller returned the ball all the way to the 49-yard line.

Looking to put the game away, the Uniontown offense went to work. Slowly moving downfield, the Eagles used their ground game to move within the Maranatha 10-yard line. Reed took a sweep toss around the left side, and dove for the pylon, scoring what looked to be a touchdown. The game officials huddled to discuss the call, and ruled that the ball had left Reed’s hand before reaching the pylon. With the ball skirting out of bounds in the end zone, Marantha Academy would receive the ball via a touchback.

The Eagle’s defense would again stiffen, forcing Marantha to punt the ball. This time Marantha used a fake. Nate Burdette, the Marantha punter, scrambled right, then scrambled all the way left, and motioned for his receiver to go deep. Unleashing an towering throw, wide receiver Brock West out jumped an Eagle defender, and ran the ball in for a wild 70-yard touchdown pass. However, there was an illegal man down field, negating the Marantha touchdown. It was now fourth and fifteen for Maranatha, and with only 2:38 remaining in the fourth quarter, they elected to go for the conversion. Uniontown’s Gavin Fry would knock down Burdette’s pass, ending the Marantha drive.

The Eagle’s would line up in victory formation, kneeling the ball three times to run out the game clock.

Uniontown defeated Maranatha, 34-26, improving to 3-2 on the season.

Andrew Reed led the Eagles on offense, carrying the ball 17 times for 208 yards and 3 touchdowns. Reed also had 81 yards on punt returns, including a 51-yard touchdown. Ty Davidson and Gavin both had over 50 yards rushing, while Davidson also scored a touchdown. On defense, Uniontown was paced by Andrew Reed, Nick Hathaway, Gavin Fry, and Ty Davidson. The Eagle’s had 4 interceptions on the night, two by Davidson, one by Miller, and one by Fry.

Marantha was paced on offense by quarterback Nate Burdette. Burdette finished the night 10 of 25 passing for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns, to go along with 4 interceptions. Running back Gabe Wiley led Maranatha on the ground, taking 24 carries for 102 yards. Wide receiver Brock West finished the game with 5 receptions for 143 yards and one score, while Andrew Fortin hauled in 5 receptions for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Maranatha had 355 yards in total offense, while Uniontown finished with 345 yards in total offense.

Looking ahead, Uniontown (3-2, 1-1 TRL) will open Class 2-1A District 4 play by traveling to face Three Rivers League foe Oswego. Meanwhile, Maranatha Academy will host Atchison County.

 

UNIONTOWN . . .                    8      6     20     0

MARANTHA ACADEMY . . .    20     6      0      0