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Game of the Week

Stayin' alive

Union (38) vs. Western Beaver (7)
Written: Sep 23, 2016
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By Ron Poniewasz Jr.

New Castle News

The Union High football team is back in the postseason hunt.

Tre'von Charles and Rissaun McKnight paved the way for the Scotties' scoring attack and the defense did the rest Friday night in a 38-7 WPIAL Class 1A Big Seven Conference home win over Western Beaver.

Charles scored three touchdowns and McKnight added a pair. Union's defense allowed just 159 total yards and nine first downs to cap off the dominant performance.

The Scotties (1-2 conference, 2-3 overall) came in needing a win to stay alive in the nine-team league. The top five squads from the conference advance to the postseason. A loss would have pushed the Scotties into a three-way tie for last with Cornell and Shenango.

"I don't know about it being an elimination game, but our backs are to the wall," Union coach Stacy Robinson said. "Every league game, your back is to the wall. Especially when you've lost a couple like we have.

"We felt we let a couple of games go early in the season that we feel we could have won. But we're getting on track."

Charles scored on scoring scampers of 55 and 42 yards, as well as returning the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a score.

"We needed this one to have a chance to remain in the playoff hunt," Charles said. "This was a very important game for us.

"I think we played better with our backs to the wall."

Things started turning around for the Scotties last week when they blanked non-conference foe Jefferson-Morgan, 30-0. A second consecutive shutout was looking pretty good until the Golden Beavers (2-2, 3-2) broke it up with 4:05 remaining in the final frame.

"I'm not a big stat man. I need the win," Robinson said of the team not securing a second straight shutout. "As much as we struggle with our numbers and being able to compete each week, I'll take the win. I'm not worried about (the shutout) anyway. I don't think they give out an award for points scored against."

Union's offense was efficient throughout. The Scotties led 6-0 after one quarter on McKnight's 14-yard run and the hosts stretched it to 12-0 at the break on Charles' 55-yard dash.

Charles helped Union put a firm grip on the game when he returned the second-half kickoff for a score. The Scotties won the coin toss and deferred. That choice afforded the hosts to expand the lead. And Charles wasted little time doing so.

Charles found an open lane and raced into the end zone for the score on special teams.

"I saw a big hole," Charles said. "I was surprised they kicked it back to me. Coach said they probably weren't going to kick it back to me. They kicked it back to me and there was a big hole so I took it."

Said Robinson, "Deferring sure made me look like a genius tonight. Special teams make a difference. They can win you a game and they can lose you a game."

McKnight, a Woodland Hills transfer, also scored on a 13-yard run in the third period. He finished with 62 yards on eight carries.

"Rissaun is a big, physical back to bring down," Robinson said.

Charles finished with 139 yards on nine carries. Robinson has been moving him around at different positions to fully utilize his talents.

"I was supposed to be at wide receiver but I switched to running back a lot," Charles said. "The line was blocking great tonight, just like they did last week against Jefferson-Morgan. I was finding the holes and running hard."

Robinson noted Charles' strong play of late. Last week, Charles rushed for 217 yards on just eight carries.

"Tre is doing well, he's doing what is expected of him," Robinson said. "Am I surprised? Just a bit. Believe it or not, I expect more from him.

"He has the ability to be a game-breaker any time he touches the ball and that's a plus."

Kyree Huddleston's 10-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter gave Union a 38-0 lead and initiated the mercy rule.

Freshman quarterback Tyler Benedict didn't need to showcase his arm much in the lopsided win. He threw just two passes for the Scotties, both in the first half, and completed one for 23 yards. Benedict was starting his fourth straight game in place of Evan Pinkerton, who suffered an injury in the opener against Laurel.

"I knew Tyler Benedict would get better and he is," Robinson said. "He's just a young buck, but he's developing.

"Evan is coming along. I don't know what his timetable is for coming back, but he's eager to get back. He's chomping at the bit."

Union returns to action at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 1 when it travels to Summit Academy (1-3, 1-3).

"The rest of the year, we have to win football games. That's the bottom line," Robinson said. "You want to win as many games as you can and when the dust settles, see where you're at and go from there."

(Email: rponiewasz@ncnewsonline.com)

WESTERN BEAVER UNION

9 First downs 15

150 Yards Rushing 265

22 Yards Lost 18

128 Net Rushing 247

8 Passes Attempted 2

3 Passes Completed 1

1 Passes Intercepted 0

31 Yards Passing 23

159 Total Yards 270

1-1 Fumbles-Lost 1-1

4-27.5 Punts-Average 1-31

8-60 Penalties-Yards 4-30

WESTERN BEAVER 0 0 0 7 — 7

UNION 6 6 19 7 — 38

Scoring plays

UNION — Rissaun McKnight, 14-yard run (kick blocked).

UNION — Tre'von Charles, 55-yard run (pass failed).

UNION — Charles, 85-yard kickoff return (pass failed).

UNION — McKnight, 13-yard run (kick failed).

UNION — Charles, 42-yard run (Charles kick).

UNION — Kyree Huddleston, 10-yard run (Charles kick).

WESTERN BEAVER — Jeddy Young, 7-yard run (Zack Shank kick).
GAME SCOREBOARD
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 OT SCORE
Union 6 6 19 7 0 38
Western Beaver 0 0 0 7 0 7
GAME OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
One step short 12/3/16 Neshannock season comes to end 11/27/16 The (im)perfect season 11/19/16 WPIAL championship game 11/18/16 New Castle advances to WPIAL Class 4A title game 11/11/16 Neshannock routs Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Neshannock hosts Serra Catholic 11/4/16 Thriller 10/28/16 Union at Shenango 10/28/16 'Canes stumble; playoff berth on line in finale 10/21/16 New Castle hosts Ringgold on Senior Night 10/21/16 Wilmington falls in battle of unbeatens 10/15/16 Wilmington at Hickory 10/13/16 On the defensive 10/8/16 Neshannock hosts Riverside 10/7/16 New Castle struggles in home loss to Mars 9/30/16 New Castle hosts Mars 9/30/16 'Canes hope to even score against Mars 9/30/16 Stayin' alive 9/23/16 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/23/16 Ground assault 9/17/16 Wilmington hosts Sharpsville 9/16/16 Too many mistakes for Laurel 9/10/16 Riverside travels to Laurel 9/9/16 Neshannock routs North Catholic 9/3/16 Canes quipped 8/31/16 A good mix 8/27/16 Black Friday 11/14/15 Wilmington vs. Cambridge Springs 11/13/15 Defense steps up for Lancers 11/7/15 Neshannock vs. Bentworth 11/5/15 No doubt about it 10/31/15 Neshannock vs. Union 10/30/15 Crowning effort 10/24/15 Shenango vs. Riverside 10/23/15 Playoff hopes dashed 10/17/15 Laurel vs. Beaver 10/16/15 A costly brawl 10/10/15 New Castle vs. Central Valley 10/9/15 Inching closer 10/3/15 Union vs. Shenango 10/2/15 'They had us on our heels' 9/26/15 South Side Beaver at Union 9/25/15 Shootout 9/19/15 Neshannock at Riverside 9/18/15 Pivotal 9/13/15 Neshannock, Shenango clash Saturday 9/11/15 Under the weather 9/5/15 New Brighton at Laurel 9/4/15 Heartbreaker 11/15/14 Neshannock vs. Clairton 11/14/14 Weathering the storm 11/8/14 Neshannock vs. Jeannette 11/7/14 Fast and furious 11/1/14 Springdale at Shenango 10/31/14 Opportunity lost 10/25/14 Sharpsville at Wilmington 10/24/14 One for the books 10/18/14 Ellwood City at Laurel 10/17/14 Ground war 10/11/14 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/10/14 Drenched with happiness 10/4/14 South Side Beaver at Shenango 10/3/14 The perfect storm 9/27/14 Moon at New Castle 9/26/14 Coming up short 9/20/14 West Middlesex at Wilmington 9/19/14 Back in the saddle 9/13/14 Neshannock at Riverside 9/12/14 Tough act to follow 9/6/14 New Brighton at Ellwood City 9/5/14 'We will get better' 8/30/14 West Allegheny vs. New Castle 8/29/14 End of the road 11/16/13 Neshannnock vs. North Catholic 11/15/13 'Sharks in a frenzy' 11/9/13 Lancers advance to WPIAL semifinals 11/9/13 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/13 The best defense 11/2/13 Neshannock vs. Brentwood 11/1/13 'We battled to the end' 10/26/13 New Brighton at Mohawk 10/25/13 Costly blunders 10/19/13 Sto-Rox at Laurel 10/18/13 West Allegheny rallies in fourth to defeat 'Canes 10/12/13 West Allegheny at New Castle 10/11/13 Mohawk wins thriller behind McConahy, Barber 10/5/13 Ellwood City at Mohawk 10/4/13 Spartans ride big second half to win over Union 9/28/13 Laurel at Union 9/27/13 Burkes stars as Lancers escape upset bid 9/21/13 Shenango at Neshannock 9/20/13 So close ... 9/13/13 Neshannock at Sto-Rox 9/12/13 Run to glory 9/7/13 Laurel at Neshannock 9/6/13 Dando, Spartans roll over South Side Beaver 9/5/13 South Side Beaver vs. Laurel 8/30/13 Turnovers spell doom for Wilmington in D-10 title game 11/26/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 11/24/12 Caught in a 'Bear' trap 11/17/12 Neshannock vs. Clairton in WPIAL Class A semifinals 11/15/12 Neshannock advances 11/10/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/9/12 Neshannock vs. Monessen 11/8/12 Neshannock advances 11/3/12 Neshannock vs. Jefferson-Morgan 11/2/12 Down and out 10/27/12 New Castle at Hopewell 10/26/12 Pugh paces Wilmington to win over Sharon 10/22/12 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/19/12 Mohawk falls to Beaver 10/13/12 Beaver vs. Mohawk 10/12/12 ‘We tip our hats to them’ 10/8/12 Neshannock at Rochester 10/5/12 Big-play display for Union 9/29/12 Union vs. Laurel 9/28/12 Lancers rout Shenango for fourth win 9/24/12 Blend of old, new sparks Union win 9/22/12 Union hosts Western Beaver 9/21/12 ’Hounds rise up for win over Hickory 9/15/12 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/14/12 Milestone victory 9/10/12 New Castle at Riverside 9/7/12 699 and counting 9/1/12 New Castle vs. Central Valley 8/31/12 Turnovers lead to season-ending loss for Wilmington 11/21/11 Wilmington vs. General McLane 11/17/11 End of the dream 11/12/11 Ellwood vs. Greensburg Central 11/11/11 Ellwood advances 11/5/11 Ellwood City vs. Freeport 11/4/11 Mixed reviews 10/29/11 New Castle vs. Blackhawk 10/28/11 Wilmington rolls to Region 3 title 10/22/11 Wilmington vs. Sharon 10/21/11 It's Polka time 10/15/11 Ellwood City vs. Laurel 10/14/11 Aliquippa cruises past Ellwood City 10/8/11 Aliquippa vs. Ellwood City 10/7/11 Wilmington holds on for thrilling win over Hickory 10/1/11 Wilmington vs. Hickory 9/30/11 Union pulls away for win over South Side Beaver 9/24/11 South Side Beaver at Union 9/23/11 Big plays spell doom for New Castle 9/17/11 Central Valley vs. New Castle 9/16/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Defense delivers for Neshannock 9/10/11 Neshannock vs. Serra Catholic 9/9/11 New Castle suffers disappointing loss in opener 9/3/11 New Castle vs. Butler 9/2/11 Sharon ends Wilmington’s dominance 11/22/10 ‘Underdog’ Greyhounds move on to a rematch with Sharon 11/15/10 Wilmington vs. North East 11/12/10 Tough lesson 11/6/10 WPIAL Playoffs: Ellwood vs. South Fayette 11/5/10 Wolverines earn playoff berth 10/30/10 Riverside at Ellwood City 10/29/10 'Hounds lose heartbreaker 10/23/10 Wilmington at Sharon 10/22/10 Wolverines outlast Spartans 10/16/10 Laurel at Ellwood City 10/15/10 'Canes fall to Parkway foe Hopewell 10/9/10 New Castle to battle Hopewell 10/8/10 Lancers fall to Western Beaver 10/2/10 Western Beaver at Neshannock 10/1/10 Wolverines fall to Beaver 9/25/10 Beaver at Ellwood City 9/24/10 Shenango runs past South Side 9/20/10 Greyhounds lay hammer down on Greenville 9/11/10 Wilmington vs. Greenville 9/10/10 New Castle comes through 9/4/10 New Castle vs. Butler 9/4/10 Memorable run ends for Wilmington football team 12/14/09 Wilmington vs. Greensburg Catholic 12/11/09 Wilmington survives close call against Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington vs. Forest Hills 12/4/09 Wilmington blanks Sharon 11/28/09 Wilmington vs. Sharon 11/27/09 Laurel season ends with setback 11/21/09 Laurel vs. Clairton in WPIAL semifinals 11/20/09 West Allegheny ends New Castle’s season 11/14/09 New Castle vs. West Allegheny 11/13/09 New Castle holds off Greensburg Salem 11/7/09 New Castle at Greensburg Salem 11/6/09 Wilmington routs Slippery Rock 10/30/09 Slippery Rock at Wilmington 10/30/09 Shenango blanks Union 10/24/09 Shenango at Union 10/23/09 Spartans overwhelm Monaca 10/17/09 Monaca at Laurel 10/16/09 Mohawk outlasts Ellwood City 10/10/09 Mohawk at Ellwood City 10/9/09 Rochester turns back Laurel in battle of unbeatens 10/3/09 Laurel at Rochester 10/2/09 Laurel opportunistic against Neshannock 9/26/09 Neshannock at Laurel 9/25/09 New Castle ends streak against Blackhawk 9/19/09 New Castle hosts Blackhawk 9/18/09 New Castle passes test against Indiana 9/12/09 Indiana at New Castle 9/11/09 Ellwood comes up short against Freedom 9/5/09 Freedom at Ellwood 9/4/09 Wilmington wins PIAA title! 12/15/08 'Hounds headed for Hershey 12/6/08 Wilmington vs. Aliquippa 12/5/08 Wilmington holds off Martinsburg Central 11/29/08 Wilmington edges Slippery Rock for District 10 title 11/24/08 "Down and Out" 11/19/08 New Castle outlasts Indiana in quarterfinals 11/8/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/7/08 New Castle vs. Indiana 11/6/08 New Castle routs Franklin Regional 11/1/08 Franklin Regional at New Castle 11/1/08 Laurel wins, but not enough 10/25/08 Shenango at Laurel 10/25/08 New Castle routs Ambridge 10/18/08 Ambridge at New Castle 10/18/08 Rochester blanks Neshannock 10/11/08 Wilmington handles Sharon 10/4/08 South Side Beaver blanks Neshannock 9/27/08 Neshannock vs. South Side Beaver 9/27/08 Neshannock holds off Laurel 9/20/08 Rochester blanks Union 9/13/08 Union-Rochester 9/12/08 Mohawk routs New Brighton 9/6/08 Butler outlasts New Castle 8/30/08
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