The Union High football team's offense didn't get much work in the first quarter against Bishop Canevin.

The Scotties executed just four plays from scrimmage in the opening quarter. And one of them was a fumble on the first play.

Union, though, got things going in the second quarter in a big way. The Scotties put up 36 points in the second stanza to take control and cruise to a 56-22 WPIAL Big Seven Conference home win over the Crusaders on Friday night.

"I haven't seen too many of those quarters. We'll take it," Scotties coach Stacy Robinson said. "It was a good night for us."

It's the third win in a row for Union, the program's first three-game win streak since a four-game streak to open the 2017 season. The Scotties (3-2 conference, 3-3 overall) have rolled up a total of 152 points during the win streak.

"You have to play who is in front of you," Robinson said. "We think we're a good football team.

"We just want to get confident. We're not world beaters. We have to march all night and fight all day. And that's every week. The guys aren't complaining about it. The guys just have to buckle up and be ready for next week."

Union had a meeting earlier in the week to discuss the possibility of forming a co-op with another county school for football only because of the school's low numbers. That didn't affect the Scotties' focus for the game against Bishop Canevin (0-3, 0-6).

"With all of the things happening for us this week, it's still good for us to concentrate on some football. I'm happy for the guys," Robinson said. "It's a credit to those guys. We can't worry about what's going on.

"The common goal when you're getting on a flight is everyone wants to get off the plane. You just want to land the plane and then you'll deal with everything after that."

Union took flight early when Michael Flowers intercepted a pass thrown by the Crusaders' Willie Banks-Hicks and returned it 33 yards for a score just 26 seconds into the game.

"It's a momentum shifter," Robinson said. "Football is a momentum shifter. We were able to get up on them. Once we were able to get up on them, it's a different ballgame.

"Michael saw it and was ready for it. It's a testament to him, he made a play on it and he broke on the ball and scored."

Bishop Canevin took the lead at 8-6 after one quarter. From there, it was an all out assault on the end zone by the Scotties in the second period.

Union scored five touchdowns in the second quarter on a run by Bryce Smith (1) and a pair by Flowers (9, 2). Tyler Staub hauled in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Benedict and Benedict hooked up with Anthony Nealy on a 12-yard scoring aerial on the final play of the half. It staked the Scotties to a 42-14 halftime buffer.

"We had to settle down and figure out if we wanted to win the football game," Robinson said of his team's approach going into the second quarter. "That's the moment of truth right there. We had to figure out what we were going to do.

"We were going to call timeout (on the last play of the half), but they told us we had a choice of calling timeout or run the clock when the ball is snapped. We hurried up and it worked to our advantage. That's a testament to the kids. It's the things we work on. Tyler kept the play alive and found the open man. Things were clicking in that second quarter. I'll take those days. They don't come around too often, but I'll take them."

Flowers snared a 40-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter and Tyler Staub's conversion kick initiated the mercy rule.

Flowers rushed for 76 yards on six carries, while hauling in three catches for 57 yards. Benedict rushed for 50 yards on five totes. He was 13 of 15 through the air for 138 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

"Tyler is the anchor of our football team," Robinson said. "Don't let anybody fool you, he's the guy. He can handle it. He's going to leave his mark on the place."

Union returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels to Laurel (2-1, 4-2) for a key conference clash. Only two teams advance to the playoffs in Class 1A from each conference along with two total wild cards.

Sports Writer

Ron Poniewasz Jr. is a sports writer at the New Castle News. Email him at

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