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Union Local Edges Edison

Jets snap long losing streak

September 15, 2012
dsp By GREG HARKNESS For The Intelligencer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MORRISTOWN - It had been more than 100 Friday nights since Union Local's Jets had something to celebrate on the football field.

That all changed Friday night.

Union Local ended a 22-game losing streak, dating back to the first week of the 2010 season, with a hard-fought 13-12 victory against Edison.

''The monkey's off our back,'' Union Local coach Mark Cisar said. ''Now the kids can concentrate on winning football games and not worry about ending that streak. This is big for our kids, the coaching staff, our school and the entire community.''

Union Local finished with 102 yards of offense, including 9 rushing yards.

''One word sums up (Friday) - defense,'' Cisar said. ''Our defense made big play after big play. We know we aren't going to score a lot of points, so our defense has to come up big and it did.

''Edison has a nice team. Honestly, we felt they were the best team of the first four on our schedule. They made some costly mistakes with turnovers and had some penalties negate a few big plays.''

The Wildcats committed six turnovers, five of which came in the second half and were penalized 12 times for 129 yards.

After trading turnovers, Edison put together a solid eight-play, 55-yard drive as junior QB Nolan Marcus broke in from a yard out. The point after failed and Edison held a 6-0 lead with 1:28 showing in the first quarter.

Union Local appeared to be attempting to draw the Wildcats offsides from its 40-yard line but the ball was snapped, surprising Jets QB Gavin Porter, who never got the exchange. The Wildcats took over at the Jets 38-yard line.

A quick, four-play drive was capped with Marcus finding room off the left side for in a 31-yard scoring jaunt. Edison's 2-point try failed leaving the advantage at 12-0 with 4:24 left in the first half.

On Edison's second play of the second half, senior Chris Graziani broke free for a 65-yard TD. A holding call, however, negated the score. The Wildcats fumbled on the next play with the Jets' Travis James covering at the Edison 24-yard line.

''They had several penalties but the holding call on the touchdown was the biggest,'' Cisar said. ''Instead of them going up three scores, we are able to force a turnover on the next play.''

UL had a fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard line, but Porter's pass fell incomplete.

Edison moved out from the shadow if its own goal line, but another fumble gave the Jets possession at the Wildcats 26-yard line. Colton McKivitz forced the fumble and Jesse Keith covered it.

Union Local cashed in on the very next play as Porter found wideout Kaleb McDiffitt open on the left sideline and the freshman made one man miss en route to paydirt. The snap was fumbled and Edison held a 12-6 edge with 5:04 left in the third quarter.

Edison opened the next drive at its 12-yard line and on the first play put the ball on the ground again. McKivitz's forced it again and James covered his second fumble.

Three Porter carries culminated in his 1-yard burst. Eric Dunfee booted the important point after handing the Jets a 13-12 lead with 3:42 showing in the third quarter.

Porter finished with 14 completions in 25 attempts for 93 yards. McDiffitt was his favorite target with six catches for 48 yards and a TD.

The hosts received big defensive efforts from McKivitz, Blake, Keith, James, Brandon Winesickle and Griffey Girty.

Edison was led by Graziani's 14 carries for 99 yards. Marcus passed for 83 and ran for another 45 and two TDs.

 
 

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