From Combined Sources
ERIE — Union City went to its bag of tricks and stayed with powerful Mercyhurst Prep for two and a half quarters in Saturday night’s Region 2 football showdown.
The Bears led 20-7 and 26-14 before unbeaten Mercyhurst scored the final 27 points to record a 41-26 victory at Veterans Stadium.
Union City ends the regular season at 7-3, 6-2 in the region.
Mercyhurst registered its fourth unbeaten regular season, now 10-0 headed into the District 10 Class A playoffs.
UC spotted Prep the first touchdown, then turned to the district’s top rusher — Jared Burger — to jump-start the Bears’ offense.
Burger banged his way 38 yards for a touchdown, the PAT blocked leaving Union City down one point.
The Bears went ahead as Burger became a thrower, reaching the Lakers’ 1-yard line. With :48 left in the half, Burger plowed over from the one. Ryan Myers threw to Luke Hetrick but the 2-pointer was negated by a penalty. Myers then passed to Greg Reinke for the two, and a 14-7 lead.
From the “wildcat” formation, Burger “the quarterback” hooked up with Myers on an 80-yard pass and run play and a 13-point lead.
After Mercyhurst scored, Myers returned the ensuing kickoff 74 yards for a score and a 26-14 UC lead.
That was it for Union City’s scoring.
Mercyhurst scored once in the third, then tallied three TDs in the fourth quarter.
MP had taken the lead 27-26 on Aaron Horton’s second of three touchdowns. He rushed for 166 yards.
Union City had just nine first downs and 74 yards rushing. Burger himself had 76 yards on 15 carries. Take away his 38-yard run, Burger managed 36 other yards.
Shane Ranklin had a 36-yard reception for Myers who was 8 of 12 passing for a season-best 106 yards. Burger was 2 of 4 for 105 yards, the Bears throwing for a 2009 high of 211 yards.
This Friday night, Union City meets Linesville at General McLane High School while Mercyhurst Prep faces Mercer, the final entry in the Class A, eight-school playoffs.
Union City Mercyhurst
First Downs 9 18
Rushes-yards 28-74 52-362
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-17-2 3-7-1
Passing yards 211 36
Total yards 285 398
Penalties-yards 10-95 8-55
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-0
score by quarter:
Union City 6 8 12 0 — 26
Mercyhurst Prep 7 0 13 21 — 41
MP—Aaron Horton 30 run (Tyler Helffrich kick)
UC—Jared Burger 38 run (kick blocked)
UC—Burger 1 run (Greg Reinke pass from Ryan Myers)
UC—R.Myers 80 pass from J.Burger (pass failed)
MP—Chris Kurzik 10 run (Helffrich kick)
UC—R. Myers 74 kickoff return (run failed)
MP -Rob Kaiser 13 pass from Tony Cordovano (kick blocked)
MP—A. Horton 1 run (Helffrich kick)
MP—A. Horton 54 run (Helffrich kick)
MP—Tim Schwenk 13 run (Helffrich kick)
Rushing- UC: Burger 15-76, Myers 8-(-2), Reinke 2-(-1), Robbie Hollis 1-2, Shane Rankin 1-(-1). MP: Horton 18-166, Kurzik 18-122, Brad Hesch 7-42, Schwenk 5-36, Kaiser 2-2, Cordovano 2-(-6).
Passing- UC: Myers 8-12-1-106, Burger 2-4-0-105, Colton Yost 0-1-1-0. MP: Cordovano 3-7-1-36.
Receiving- UC: Hollis 4-40, Cody Morris 2-30, Myers 1-80, Rankin 1-36, Reinke 1-25, Burger 1-0. MP: Kaiser 3-36.