Unionville overpowers Glen Mills, 42-8, to advance in district play

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Unionville’s Alijah Woodall (22) takes down Glen Mills QB Tarik Bey as Sam Ross (13) closes in. Jim Gill photo.

By Al Tustin, Staff Writer, The Times

EAST MARLBOROUGH — The postseason means survive and advance. Or, maybe in the case of Unionville High School football, thrive and advance.

The third-seeded Indians thoroughly dominated 14-seeded Glen Mills, 42-8, Friday night, in the opening round of the District One, 5A playoffs, combining a strong run game with a stifling defense. Unionville (10-1, 6-0) will host No. 11 seed Strath Haven, which upset No. 6 Bishop Shanahan, next Friday night.

The Bulls (3-7) were no match for the Indians, who took care of business and controlled the game from beginning to end. Even missing key senior running back Jack Adams due to an injury, junior back Joe Fariello stepped up and scored three TD, breaking off a number of long runs, despite limited carries — he ended up with 115 yards on five carries with three TD. Senior Dante Graham continued his recent power running, grinding out 91 yards on nine carries, including one score. Senior QB Alex Gorgone was an efficient 5-of-6 for 90 yards and two TD.

Unionville running back Joe Fariello breaks loose against Glen Mills. The junior back scored three TD in the win for the Indians. Jim Gill photo.

Fariello stepped up in classic Unionville, “next man up” style.

“Joe is a junior, and we’ve got two really good senior backs, and unfortunately, we lost Jack to injury last week,” Unionville head coach Pat Clark said. “(Adams) is a 12th grade boy  — it’s really tough. Jack’s been our heart and soul and intensity. But beginning last week, Joe had some great runs. We have a lot of really good kids in our program, kids that really care and Joe fits that mold. He’s given us everything he has, and he certainly played great tonight.”

The win marks Unionville’s first post-season victory since 2009.

“I’m happy for the kids,” Clark said. “To get here is an accomplishment, but we’re here to win games, not just to be in the playoffs.”

Unionville’s Dante Graham looks for open running room, escorted by lineman Pablo Aviles Bernal (58) who had a strong game on both sides of the ball. Jim Gill photo.

Again, Unionville’s offensive line — which struggled a bit early in the season, but has coalesced into a powerful unit in recent weeks — opened holes all night and allowed the Indians to play their preferred running style. The defense, too, continues to play at  high level, making Unionville a very dangerous team going forward.

The Indians took control early and never let up. After stopping the Bulls cold on their first possession, Unionville promptly marched down the field and scored, converting on Graham’s 16yard run. With Dominic Braithwaite’s extra point, Unionville had a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Graham ripped off a 48-yard run early in the second to spark another drive, ending on Fariello’s 15-yard run, to make it 14-0. Unionville scored again on a two-play drive, with Gorgone hitting JT Hower for a 30-yard TD to make it 21-0. Fariello raced 39-yards for another score later in the quarter to cap the half time lead at 28-0.

The second half was more of the same. Gorgone hit Joe Zubillaga from 21 yards out for another score to make it 35-0 midway through the third quarter. Then Fariello had his longest run of the day, racing 50 yards for a score to give the Indians a 42-0 lead.

Glen Mills managed a late score, driving against Unionville’s junior varsity defense — Quadir Bolling-Simmons scoring from five yards out in the closing minutes. He tacked on a two-point conversion for the final 42-8 score.

The advances Unionville to the second round of the 5A bracket, now down to eight teams.

Elsewhere, top-seed Springfield (Delco) shutout Penncrest, 38-0, No. 9 Rustin overpowered no. 8 Great Valley, 48-17, No. 4 Academy Park beat Chichester, 39-12 and No. 5 Upper Dublin held off Radnor, 27-21. In the Indians’ bracket, No. 2 Upper Moreland beat Sun Valley, 57-30, No. 7 Marple Newtown beat No. 10 Oxford 42-13 and No. 11 Strath Haven knocked off No. 6 Bishop Shanahan, 24-21.

Unionville will host Strath Haven next Friday. The 6-5 Panthers feature a multiple running game – and play in one of the area’s top leagues. Should the Indians win, they would face the winner of the Upper Moreland-Marple-Newtown game on Nov. 17 in the District semi-final.

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