By Maryann Mook
UNION CITY — Jared Burger scored bookend touchdowns to lead the Union City Bears to a 14-8 win over Cambridge Springs in Region 2 football action Friday night.
The win pushed the Bears to 2-0 in region play and 2-1 overall.
Cambridge dropped to 2-1 and 1-2.
Burger scored in the first and fourth quarters playing Bear Stadium, while the Blue Devils’ lone TD came in the fourth.
Union City scored on their first possession of the night. After a first down on the one-yard line, Union City recovered their own lose ball to put the play at second and 10 on the 1-yard line. Burger hit the end zone on the next play to light up the scoreboard.
Robbie Hollis failed to make a two-point conversion, but the Bears had a 6-0 lead over the Blue Devils with 5 minutes and 48 seconds left in the first quarter.
Cambridge Springs’ Shawn Reynolds then returned the kick to the Cambridge 46-yard line, but Union City got the ball back after Justin Bengel recovered a fumble in Cambridge territory. The Blue Devils answered back when Weston Stafford intercepted a pass from Union City quarterback Ryan Myers.
Union City hung onto its 6-0 lead until the fourth, when Burger broke through a pack of defenders and ran the ball in from the 41-yard line for his second score of the night.
“I made my own hole,” Burger said about breaking through the blue and white. “I felt the power.”
Burger said the Bears made a change in their offensive line by adding Bengel.
“We’ve got one of the best offensive lines in the region,” Burger said. “We’ve never had a sophomore there, but he’s a tough kid.”
Union City coach Brian Patten said he had help from three former players in the second half — Eric Albrecht, Bryn Smith and Aaron Shreve.
“Three former quarterbacks helped me call the plays,” Patten said. “And Josh Kerns did a great job as offensive coordinator.”
But Patten said this game was also for the National Guardsmen who returned home from Iraq this past week.
“When I read that Matt Styborski and Chris Zelinski came home, I knew this would be a special game.”
Patten said, too, getting a win against Cambridge and Coach Walt Nottingham was special, too. It hasn’t happened since Dan Clark coached the Bears to an 8-0 regular-season record in the mid-1990s.
“Coach Nottingham is a class act,” Patten said. “I told him it meant a lot to get a win against someone so knowledgeable.”
Burger ended the night with 154 yards rushing on 21 carries. Myers had 108 yards on 14 carries.
The Bears travel to Lawrence Park next Friday to take on the Iroquois Braves in a Region 2 game.
Prior to the start of the game, Union City’s Wall of Achievement added nine inductees.
See the Journal's Saturday, September 19th edition for full story.