Union City controlled the game on the ground, rushing for 305 yards and their defense stymied the Irvington offense in a 19-15 win. Irvington’s touchdowns came on special teams and defense.
**Please note this is off the YouTube broadcast from Union City High School Athletics.
First Quarter: After gaining a first down on the opening possession, Irvington was forced to punt after a sack by Elijah Rose for an 11-yard loss to the 32. The snap was high and the punter did a good job, punting from his end zone with the ball landing on their 31. On the following play, Tyler Koffa went right on the jet sweep, as the line moved everyone to the left, and outraced two defenders for a 31-yard touchdown. The extra point failed and Union City had an early 6-0 lead. Irvington moved the ball behind Fahmah Toure running out of the wildcat, but the Blue Knights turned it over on downs on the 19.
Second Quarter: The ensuing drive took up parts of both quarters, going 81 yards on sixteen plays – all on the ground – scoring when Rose ran it in from six yards out for a 13-0 lead with 5:05 left. After the Union City defense forced a three-and-out, the Irvington punt gave them the ball on their 43 with 2:46 left. Again, the Soaring Eagles stuck to the ground, making it to the 1-yard line before time ran out.
Third Quarter: Union City came out with the ball and went 75 yards in 6:30 with six first downs, scoring on a 1-yard run by Damon Pallotto. The ensuing kickoff was fielded on the 25 by Toure, who went left and down the sideline for a 75-yard touchdown return, making it 19-7. It was on the following drive when the game became close. After picking up a first down, Union City had three consecutive penalties after having only two to that point. Shortly after that, the handoff was mishandled with Vaboue Toure picking it up for Irvington and going 27 yards for a touchdown. The two-point attempt was taken by the holder, Adon Shuler, who went left and into the end zone to make it 19-15 with one minute left in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter: After a Union City punt, Irvington had an opportunity to go in front with the ball on the Union City 45. But on fourth-and-four, Kyshir Desir took the punt snap and was stopped one yard shy of the first-down marker. Union City moved into Irvington territory, but turned the ball over on downs at the 22-yard line. Irvington picked up a first down on a Fahmah Toure run on the reverse for eight yards to the 35. But two runs for no gain, a sack by JaSire Peterson, and an incomplete pass turned the ball over to Union City with 55 seconds left.
Comments: Union City controlled large chunks of the game with their rushing attack, rushing for 305 yards as previously mentioned. In the 57 plays they ran, they only lost yardage three times and that was after they had a 19-0 lead. Only six runs went for more than 10 yards, as they consistently moved the chains and only one pass was attempted because there was no reason to throw. The Soaring Eagles line of left tackle Anthony Crawford, left guard Brandon Paulino, center Joseph Morales, right guard Julian Guerra, and right tackle JaSire Peterson were the stars of the game.
The other story of the game was the Union City defense controlling the Irvington offense.
Outside of Fahmah Toure, Irvington could not get their offense going. They were unable to establish the running game between the tackles and didn’t fare much better outside – except when Toure ran. Unofficially, the Blue Knights rushed for 32 yards, while Toure had 43. Their touchdowns came on special teams and defense; otherwise, this game wasn’t close, especially when the first half ended with Union City one yard away from a touchdown.