Unionville overwhelms Radnor, advances to 5A semis

Unionville’s Connor Schilling gets flipped upside down in the process of scoring a touchdown, Friday, against Radnor in the Section One, 5A playoffs.

By Al Tustin, Sports Editor, The Times

WAYNE — Judging by the two teams’ records, the game probably shouldn’t have been close.

And in truth — it wasn’t. But it was 6-6 Unionville that thoroughly dominated 9-3 Radnor with a masterful combination of stifling defense and a powerful running game, 28-7, Friday night in a second-round District One, 5A playoff game.

Unionville, the defending District One, 5A champions, advances to play Upper Dublin, a 27-0 winner over Cheltenham Friday night, in the District One, 5A semi-final.

Although there were a few rocky moments in the first half for the No. 11 seed Indians — including a run of what could have been costly penalties and errors — the Indians continued to look like the dominant team that seemingly appeared out of nowhere late in the regular season, overwhelming the No. 3 seed Raiders.

Unionville’s Ryan Son and Alex Pelligrin put pressure on Radnor QB Sean Mullarkey.

“We were just so tough and so physical tonight,” Unionville head coach Pat Clark said. “I couldn’t be more proud of a team. Every week, this team keeps getting a little bit better and better.”

As was the case in the opening week of the playoffs, the run game behind junior back Connor Schilling (175 yards rushing, 1 TD) and senior QB Nick Schnaars (85 rushing yards, 2 TD) could not be contained. Unionville was able to run a ball-control, clock eating offense to keep Radnor’s explosive offense off the field.

And while the rain didn’t help Raiders’ QB Sean Mullarkey and his normally high-powered passing game, the furious Indians’ pass rush kept him off balance all night long, rushing passes or forcing him to pull down the ball and run.

“If you defend, you always have a shot,” Clark said. “And I couldn’t be more proud of those guys, and we’re playing pretty fast and physical.”

And beyond that sloppy sequence with penalties and a turnover, Unionville really only saw one major miscue and it was early: allowing a Mullarkey pass over the middle to Teddy Girton, who then raced 64 yards for score to tie the game early in the game — where it stayed until halftime. The Indians had grabbed the lead on a long opening drive, capped by a Schnaars to Alex Pelegrin TD pass.

The second half, though, was all Unionville.

Unionville QB Nick Schnaars battles for yards Friday night against Radnor.

After stopping a long Radnor drive off the second-half kick off by breaking up a Malarkey pass on 4th and 6 on the Unionville 26, the Indians mounted what would prove to be the winning drive. Unionville powered the ball down the field, eating the clock, scoring on Schnaars’ two-yard run to make it 14-7, after Dominic Braithwaite’s extra point.

Then Schnaars picked off a Malarkey pass, setting up the Indians at the Radnor 35 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. Again, Unionville drove methodically down the field — although it took a spectacular catch by Blake Charlton on a key third down pass to keep the drive alive — before Schilling literally flipped into the end zone from seven yards out to make it 21-7. The Indians capped the scoring and put the game away in the final minute, with Schnaars scoring from the one to ice the game.

In Upper Dublin, 10-1, Unionville will face an explosive offense that roared through the Suburban One American Division this season, averaging more than 30 points per game. The two teams have no common opponents this season.

In other local District One action Friday night, Coatesville overpowered Downingtown East, 38-19. the Red Raiders will host Garnet Valley in the 6A semi final this Friday night. Downingtown West edged Harry S Truman, 24-22 and will travel to No. 1 seed North Penn. In 5A, West Chester Rustin was scheduled to play Academy Park Saturday.

   Send article as PDF   

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.