Union City Football Gets First Win
By Mike Thornburg | Sep 25, 2023 11:11 AM
BY RICK REED
News-Gazette Sports Editor
It finally all came together for Union City's football team.
Senior Alex Spence enjoyed a career-best performance and Trendon Spence scored five touchdowns Friday night as the Indians delighted their home fans with a convincing 42-0 Tri-Eastern Conference victory over Union County.
"It was a big confidence booster. The kids needed to show they were a good football team, and they did," Coach Keith Maloy said of his team's first win of 2023.
In a battle between a pair of teams seeking their first win of the season, Union City proved to have too many weapons on offense and defensively recorded just its fourth shutout in the past 10 years. It was a needed performance by a much-maligned Indians' defense that came into the game surrendering almost 50 points a game.
While the defense was keeping the Patriots out of the end zone, the offense kept the chain gang moving all night, racking up 418 total yards, the majority coming from the Spence boys.
Alec Spence, the senior, earned the Indians' "game ball" after hauling in six passes for 152 yards and adding 11 more yards on a pair of carries. Maloy could not have been more proud of a four-year player who has worked as hard and sacrificed himself by playing wherever the team needs him.
"What a phenomenal day for (Alec) to show up and have a big game," Maloy said of Spence. "He's put so much time and effort into our program for the past four years and it's good to see it all pay off for him. I think what this does is really solidifies his role as a receiver and gives us a third threat where our opponents are really going to have to focus on him and know where he's at on the field."
Meanwhile junior Trendon Spence, who was thought to be out for the season with a wrist injury until early last week, responded by having a big night by rushing for 120 yards and scoring five touchdowns – three rushing, one receiving, and one on an interception return.
Quarterback Jayson Connor also had a big game completing his first six passes, 13 on the night, and two for touchdowns, one to Trendon Spence and another to Quincy Middaugh.
"Our offensive line did a great job and didn't give up a sack," Maloy noted.
Defensively, the Indians recorded a season-high six sacks of their own, two each by Brayden Huggins and Xavier Hill. They had a fumble recovery by sophomore Ryan Flores-Wine, and had seven tackles for a loss. The Patriots had negative 8 yards rushing for the game.
Maloy had particular praise for Hill, just a sophomore, who recorded six total tackles, had two sacks and two tackles for a loss. "He's grown up for us so much this year and adjusted well to the linebacker position. It's nice to know we'll have somebody like him for the next two years."
The Indians got all the points they needed in the first quarter on a 26-yard pass from Connor to Middaugh, and later on a run by Trendon Spence. They added three more scores in the third and a seventh one in the fourth quarter.
The Indians have a great chance to win a second straight game when they host Cambridge City Lincoln (1-4) for Homecoming. The Eagles only win this season was a 42-36 overtime win over Union County in Week 2.