At the time this article was written, it was believed that junior Trendon Spence had suffered a fractured bone in his wrist, an injury that would have sidelined him for the season. After a CT scan, it was discovered that there are in fact no fractures, but instead the diagnosis is tenosynovitis, which is inflammation in the sheath that surrounds the tendon (basically tendonitis). It can be be painful, but will not necessarily keep him from continuing to play football. This is great news for Union City football and great news for Trendon.
BY RICK REED
News-Gazette Sports Editor
Where does it end for Union City's football team?
Nearly as soon as the Indians were able to get quarterback Jayson Connor back on the football field, they lose their all-purpose playmaker Trendon Spence to what is most likely a season-ending injury to his foot.
"I feel really bad for the kid. He's worked hard all season and he's been playing great football," Union City coach Keith Maloy said following the team's fifth loss in five games. The Indians lost at Northeastern, 67-14.
"He was having a little discomfort in his wrist a couple of weeks ago, but we didn't think it was broken," said of the Spence injury. "He's been practicing. His Mom took him to the doctor Friday and didn't even find out until 3:30 Friday afternoon. He's going to be out for six weeks, which means he'll miss the rest of the season.
"The good news for him is that he's just a junior, so he'll still have his senior season. Hopefully he can come back and have a great season."
Through four games, Spence is averaging 125 yards rushing per game on 81 carries. He's also caught six passes for 133 yards, has a team-nest 798 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns. He's also played a big role as the last line of defense as the team's safety.
Suffice to say, replacing Spence in the lineup will be a challenge.
As for Friday's game, Maloy had no illusions about being able to come away from Northeastern with a victory. "They're the best team we've played all season," he said without hesitation. "We knew it was an uphill battle."
The unbeaten Knights matched down the field at will and by the end of the first quarter built a commanding 28-0 lead. Continuing the assault in the second quarter, Northeastern continued to pile it on, leading 55-0 at intermission.
With the clock running in the second half due to the mercy rule, the Indians managed to put together some positive play, getting a 10-yard touchdown run from Brayden Huggins after Connor has hooked up with his favorite receiver, Quincy Middaugh, on a 45-yard bomb.
After the Knights, scored once again, Huggins broke loose for a 81-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Both times, Connor was able to boot an extra point through the uprights.
Both teams allowed several reserves to play through a fast-improving fourth quarter.
"I know it sounds crazy, but we played some of our best defense of the season. We say some great play from Brayden Timmerman and Xavier Hill – I thought they both both really well," Maloy said. "We had some guys playing some different positions, so that made it tough. But we've got Union County at home on Friday and have a great chance to get a win in front of our home crowd. We're getting better every week, and that's the goal."
Middaugh caught a pair of passes for 49 yards, both from Connor. Connor faced considerable pressure the whole game, but managed to complete 6 of 18 passes for 58 yards. Huggins carried 12 times for 35 yards. Hill had a team-high seven tackles, six solo. Alec Spence and Johnta Hill each recorded a sack.
Score by Quarters
Union City 0 0 14 0
Northeastern 28 27 0 12 67
PASSING – Connor 6 for 18 for 58 yards.
RUSHING – Connor 3-(-19); Huggins 12-35; Spence 1-0; O'Connor 3-12.
RECEIVING – Middaugh 2-49; Spence 1-0; Emrick 1-3.