For almost three quarters, the Unionville High School football team looked poised for an easy victory.Leading Interboro by 12 points with just over five minutes to go, the Indians needed a couple of big plays on defense to hold off the Bucs, 20-18, in last Friday night's opener for both teams.
Earlier, Greg Carroll staked Unionville to its lead, scoring two touchdowns on runs of 79 and eight yards. He finished with 115 yards on 13 carries.
"He's a great football player," Unionville coach Pat Clark said. "He bailed us out on both sides of the ball. When the team needs him that's when he steps up the most. He wants to be the guy in games when the ball's in his hands. He pulled us out, but I thought everybody that played for us did a nice job."
In a game played at times in a downpour, the Indians had trouble moving the ball on their first two possessions, but on the first play of the third Carroll broke free for his long ramble.
"Thanks to Travis Winters and (Matt) Sanderson," Carroll said. "They opened up a huge hole for me and it was pretty much a straight run. I didn't have to do anything."
Interboro answered that touch-down but missed the extra point and trailed 7-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Unionville quarterback Connor Gades found Nick Bacci for the second touch-down, and when Carroll scored early in the fourth, it looked like the Indians had control with a 20-6 lead and just under nine minutes remaining.
Then Bucs quarterback Jim McMenamin went to work, connecting on four passes including one of 21 yards to Vince Broomall that put Interboro at the Unionville one.
McMenamin carried it the final yard to cut the lead with 2:56 to go. The Bucs went for two afterward, but couldn't get in the end zone.
Interboro then recovered the onsides kick and three plays later McMenamin hit Matt McGee in the end zone with under two minutes remaining to make it 20-18. But with a chance to tie the game, McMenamin's pass attempt on the two-point conversion fell short.
"There's nothing you can really say about it," McMenamin said. "Everyone just played their heart out, gave it everything they had."
The Bucs had one last chance when Unionville fumbled the ball with 1:15 to go, but penalties and errant passes stalled their final drive.
Unionville returns to the field this Saturday afternoon, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. when they travel to Bishop Shanahan for a nonleague game. Bishop Shanahan is coming off a 42-21 loss to Academy Park last week.