Friday Night Lights – A Small Rural Indiana Rivalry

Welcome to a Friday Night Lights feature, staring two Indiana county rivals facing off for their Milk Can Trophy! Enjoy!

Union City

Well it was a calm Friday evening. Work was over. I got all cleaned up, and while taking the dog out for a potty break I heard cheers and air horns. I got curious, and the wife had informed me that the Union City (IN) Indians — her HS alma mater — was playing their county rival the Winchester (IN) Golden Falcons. Being a fan of the game and wanting to take a step back to memory lane, I thought “why not go watch the game?” Then a bright idea popped into my head while showering: go to it, take notes, and write a feature on it.

Well here we are! Let’s get into things shall we?

Also, quick note: Come to find out it was Union City’s Senior Night.

It was a close offensive shoot out from the word go, or at least since I got there.

The game was close to the end of the half when I managed to arrive. Precisely with 3:49 minutes left in the second quarter and visiting Winchester backed up on their own 12 or 11 yard line on a 2nd & 18 due to a penalty flag. Score was Winchester 29 – 14 Union City. The Winchester offense was showing promise with their undersized offensive line compare to the Indians’ front 4.

What honestly kept me interested is how well the smaller group played. Throughout the entire game they utilized a lot of sweeps, traps, and power pulling plays. The OL unit stayed low and drove their legs, but during the series when I arrived they couldn’t get it done. QB #12, Brayden Tippett, showed promise with his arm and legs in attempts to keep that drive open, but the punting unit ended up coming on.

The Golden Falcons did everything they could to stop a dynamic brotherly backfield in the Union City offense. RBs #5 Blayne Daniels and #6 Bradin Daniels were tearing up the field behind a nice blocking scheme. This allowed the Indians to start making a comeback drive and score a nice TD. Unfortunately they missed out on two more points when missing a two-point conversion.

The Score was now WC 29 – 20 UC!

As I was waiting for the kick off, I started to mingle with the home team crowd. Was informed of some nice information there, too. Focusing back on the game, I see #5 Blayne Daniels kick a long one down to the 5ish yard line. Not only is this kid a strong runner with vision, he’s also capable of being a good small college kicker. Winchester was looking to make a quick answer drive down the field without any issues. That is, until #12 Tippett threw an interception that was almost returned for a TD. Thankfully for the Golden Falcons, the returner tripped up at the 12 yard line.

Union City fell short of a touchdown right before the half in attempts to make the game closer.

Winchester set to kickoff to start the second half.

It wasn’t anything too special, but it seemed that Winchester was looking to utilize squib kicks all night or didn’t have much leg power. Union City had a solid return and put them into good field position. Winchester #12 Brayden Tippett & #4 Braxton Bosworth looking to set a good defensive tone with good reads to stop the Indians offense. Tippett making good angles with great side to side flow to make a few tackles.

Even with that good tone set, Union City was able to put up a score via the air. QB #25 Brenden Wright tossed a nice short pass to #14 Xxavier Ware. Ware just so happened to break the defenders ankles even though Winchester #88 Cooper McCoy had great initial coverage to get his open TD. PAT was good. Putting the score at 27 – 29.

Once Winchester got the ball back at their own 11, this explosive young offense started to kick things into gear with more angry runs by #4 Bosworth. Also real quick, I do want to point out Winchester OL #68 Andy Toney was doing all the proper footwork, hand motions, and drive that you can ask for in a starting guard.

Anyways, Winchester unfortunately ended up having to punt giving the Indians the ball with decent yardage. Winchester #9 Maddox Rose was playing fairly decent lock down coverage most of the night, until a missed tackle on his part gave Ware some key yardage.

Fast Forward a bit

Union City’s Ware scored once again through the air — and trucking some defenders — putting them up 34 – 29. The first lead change of the game. At that moment, I decided to move around to get another angle of the game. During that time, I happened to meet up with an unnamed scout. We were both impressed on how things were going in this small town rivalry game.

The Golden Falcons have been finding themselves having success with the wideout screens. The Indians struggled to defend, but #10 Elijah Moore in the LB corps was looking to make a name for himself. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Bosworth & Tippett for Winchester were doing everything the could to extend plays and eventually score a touchdown. Winchester was back up 37-34.

The Golden Falcon defense came up big, stopping an Indians offense that had great yardage, forcing them to punt for what seemed like the first time since I arrived at the game.

Last chance to seal the deal.

The Union City Indian defense had to come up strong within the final minutes. The fast nature and angry run mentality of the Winchester Golden Falcons was just too much.

You could tell that they were shutting down and shooting themselves in the foot with penalties. Winchester took advantage of the situation and scored another touchdown putting them up 44 to 34. That proved to be the final score. The Golden Falcons managed to stop a garbage time TD, winning their Milk Can trophy.

This game was fun to watch through and through, and brought back some memories that were locked in the back of the brain from my ball days. If you have the opportunity to go to your local game, I’d highly recommend it.

Wrap up and sign off.

Before completely signing off for this piece, I just want to give a quick list of players who I think would do well at the D3, maybe D2 level.

  • Kolson Clemons, OL – Union City #72
  • Adrian Corona-Lara, OL – Union City #75
  • Brendan Wright, ATH – Union City #25
  • Brooks Burelison, WR – Winchester #6
  • Braxton Bosworth, RB – Winchester #4
  • Bayden Tippett, LB – Winchester #12

Some of these kids, if they play at the next level will probably have to change positions — but they’ll do well in my opinion.

I hope everyone who reads this enjoyed it. Don’t forget to follow Around The Block Network on all forms of social media & have a great day!

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