By Bud Merwin
Union – A-C Valley head coach Brad Dittman has a lot to be excited about this season. After a stellar 7-3 finish last year, the A-C Valley-Union Falcon Knights bring back some key skill players along with some core upcoming underclassman.
The Falcon-Knights got off on the right track at Brockway this past Friday night, September 11th, with a one-sided 37-7 victory. Coach Dittman’s team stacked up Brockway on offense and turned in an impressive performance against the run as the Rovers ended their grown game with (-36 yards) on 24 attempts. The only Brockway touchdown would come on an 80 yard kickoff return by Tanner Morrello with 2:49 left in the contest.
With the Falcon-Knight defense on its “A” game, the offense seemed to gel as the game went on.
Tanner Merwin, the new signal caller for the Falcon-Knights put his team on the board with an 11 yard scamper at the 7:20 mark of the first quarter. Merwin then found Gaven Bowser in the end zone for the 2 pt. conversion which put the Falcon-Knights up 8-0.
Union – A-C Valley would cross the goal line two more times before half as Merwin tossed a 19 yard pass to Karter Vogle and Merwin at it again with a 59 yard jaunt around the left side to hit pay-dirt. The Falcon-Knights went in at the half up 23-0 after the converted extra point by Colton Murray.
Both teams played to a standoff in the 3rd.
With the stingy Falcon-Knight defense tough on the ground game, the Rovers were forced to go to the air, but the results did not end in their favor. The Falcon-Knights defense extended the lead in the 4th quarter with a 15 yard interception return by Eli Penny.
Defensive coordinator Chris McNany was proud of the way his team responded in the opener. “It is really nice having a bunch of guys that have been in our system for multiple years, it makes it easy on us as a coaching staff. We want to play fast and physical and create turnovers and to do that we have to understand what we are doing. The boys have all worked really hard coming into this year so it was nice to see them have a great start to the season. We have a very difficult schedule this year so we need to continue to work our tails off and be ready to go each week if we are going to reach the goals our captains have set forth for us this year. We wanted to play fast and physical and create turnovers and that is exactly what we did tonight”, stated the 3rd year defensive coach.
The Falcon-Knights sealed the victory in the 4th quarter with a 2 yard run by sophomore Bailey Chrissman of Union-AC Valley.
For the Falcon Knights, Tanner Merwin led the ground game with 7 carries for 73 yards. Merwin also tossed a pair of TD passes on the night. Union - A-C Valley’s Caiden Rainey carried 3 times for 30 yard and also hauled in a pair of catches for 31 yards.
Union - A-C Valley finished with 249 yards of total offense to Brockway’s 73. The Falcon-Knights also picked off three Brockway passes on the night.
Union - A-C Valley will continue its game on the road as it will face the Keystone Panthers this Friday night in Knox. Kick-off is at 7 PM.