Trust in Gust. That is exactly what Union Local did Friday when it hopped on the back of senior Zach Gust for a 35-21 victory over visiting Meadowbrook. Arguably the fastest kid in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, Gust showed why by returning a kick off and punt for a touchdown.
Morristown- Trust in Gust. That is exactly what Union Local did Friday when it hopped on the back of senior Zach Gust for a 35-21 victory over visiting Meadowbrook.
Arguably the fastest kid in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference, Gust showed why by returning a kick off and punt for a touchdown.
“Right before the kick off return, I told him you have to be a playmaker,” Union Local head coach Mark Cisar said. “That is what you expect from your playmakers and what more can you say. Zach made two huge plays for us tonight.”
Both teams got off to a slow start on their first drives as Meadowbrook went three and out and Union Local was intercepted.
Meadowbrook got the scoring started with a seven-play drive that saw senior Josh Quinn carry the ball on four snaps. Quinn capped off the drive with a 1-yard plunge. Senior Brandon Conrad’s point after gave the Colts a 7-0 lead.
The Jets answered on the ensuing possession with their own seven play march. The drive featured a double-pass from junior Jordan Barbina to senior Robbie Kyer to Gust for a 25-yard gain. After a Barbina to senior Zach Azallion 21-yard screen play, the Jet quarterback snuck in from 1-yard out. Freshman Adam Kyer knotted the game at 7 with the extra point.
The first quarter ended 7-7.
After a Colt punt, the Jets would get on the offense once again. After getting sacked, Barbina took the next play 34 yards off the right side to set up yet another vintage Cisar gadget play. The Jets scored on a hitch-and-pitch. The combination was a 10-yard pass to Robbie Kyer, who tossed to Azallion who scampered 37 yards to pay dirt. The younger Kyer added the point after giving the Jets a 14-7 lead at the half.
Following a Union Local fumble to start the second half, the Colts would go on an eight play drive that ended in another Quinn touchdown. The hard-running senior chewed up 24 yards on the drive. Conrad’s point after was good evening the score once again.
Then Gust stole the show. Meadowbrook elected to kick off deep, and Gust obliged them by taking it 90 yards to the house.
“We knew going into the game he (Gust) had tremendous speed, and we couldn’t let one player beat us,” Meadowbrook coach Mitch Bendle said. “Football is an 11-man sport, it’s the ultimate team sport, and by gosh we let one guy beat us.”
After a fumble by the Colts, Union Local would need just five plays to get in the end zone again. Azallion scored his second touchdown on a 2-yard run.
Meadowbrook was forced to punt on its next possession, and Gust did it again. He took the punt from his own 15-yard line, jabbed stepped in the middle, and then blazed to the right side line leaving the competition looking at the back of his No. 4 jersey. Gust, a D-II state track placer in the 200, finished with over 250 yards of total offense.
In a matter of five minutes and 21 seconds the game went from 14-14 to 35-14.
“Our biggest problem tonight was our mental toughness,” Bendle stated. “Too many guys needing breathers on special teams and that is what got us here tonight. Our mental toughness beat us tonight.”
The Orange and Brown would round out the scoring at the 9:35 mark of the fourth stanza. Quinn scored his third touchdown on a fourth and goal from the 3-yard line.
The Jets racked up 196 yards on the ground. Azallion led the way with 91 yards on 11 carries, while Barbina contributed 80 yards on 12 totes.
Meadowbrook churned out 170 yards on the ground with Quinn leading the way with 82 yards on 15 carries.
Barbina was 8-of-15 for 86 yards and an interception. Robbie Kyer was the leading Jet receiver with four catches for 45 yards.
Senior Carl Perkins led the Union Local defense with 15 tackles.