Union football preview

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On November 2, Union won their first post-season contest since 1979 by scoring 21 unanswered points against Bethlehem-Center to post a 21-7 first round victory. Head coach Stacy Robinson was a part of both conquests. As a junior in 1979, Robinson was a star running back who gained over 900 yards rushing. Fast forward 33 years later, he was able to guide his Scottie team to the same heights from the sidelines.

In 2012, Union snapped an eight-year streak of losing seasons. This summer, Coach Robinson will have to find replacements for a number of different positions including running back (Drew Robinson), quarterback (Joe Salmen) and lineman (John Hilke) among others.

The Scotties will attempt to make their way back to the playoffs beginning with a week one showdown at Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

2013 Union Scotties’ Football Preview
by Vince Pellegrini (@Vince_MYVS)
Head Coach: Stacy Robinson
2012 Record: 7-4 (5-3), WPIAL – Big Seven (A)
2012 Post-Season Finish: Lost in the WPIAL Class A Quarterfinal to Sto-Rox, 33-8, on November 9.

2012 Team Statistics
Points Scored: 26.5 (24th in Area)
Points Allowed: 18.4 (15th in Area)

Returning Leaders
Rushing: Ben Young – 29 att, 157 yards
Receiving: Ben Young – 13 rec, 322 yards

2013 Schedule
Aug. 30 – at Our Lady of Sacred Heart. 7:30 PM
Sept. 6 – Leechburg, 7:30 PM
Sept. 13 – at Rochester, 7:30 PM
Sept. 20 – at Western Beaver, 7:30 PM
Sept. 27 – Laurel, 7:30 PM
Oct. 4 – at Sto-Rox, 7:30 PM
Oct. 11 – Shenango, 7:30 PM
Oct. 18 – at South Side Beaver, 7:30 PM
Oct. 25 – Neshannock, 7:30 PM

Offensive Strength: The offense was able to register an average of 26.5 points per game last season. This was a far cry from the previous four campaigns where the Scotties finished 51st or below in the area. Senior wide out Ben Young was explosive when he had the ball in his hands. Young averaged 24.8 yards per catch and 5.4 yards per carry while scoring a total of 7 touchdowns.

Offensive Weakness: Can Union replace the production of their signal caller Joe Salmen (1175 passing yards), running back Drew Robinson (1240 rushing yards), and receivers Clifford Clark (16 catches) and Tre Major (207 receiving yards)?

Defensive Strength: Even with losing the likes of Eli Williams and John Hilke along the front line, the Scotties return seniors Malik Williams and Austin Smith.

Defensive Weakness: After suffering through seven seasons which saw the defense allow 24 points per game or more, the defense stepped it up in 2012 to permit just 18.4 points. That feat will be tough to duplicate with all of the moving pieces from last year’s group.

Storylines Facing the Scotties
1. Lawrence County Hall of Famer. Coach Stacy Robinson was honored by being named to the Lawrence County Sports Hall of Fame in April. Robinson was a three-year letter winner and accumulated 2,236 rushing yards over the course of his junior and senior seasons. Robinson was also a standout in track and field.

2. Winning in the Big Seven. Union had compiled a 6-30 league record over the previous five years. Last year, the Scotties finished with their first winning season (5-3) in league play since 2003 (4-2).

3. Schedule Eases in Rochester. The schedule early gives the Scotties sometime before meeting up with a few of the perennial powers of the Big Seven. Their first two opponents (Our Lady of Sacred Heart and Leechburg) combined for a 2-16 mark a year ago.

Did you know? For as much success as Union had last season, only one player (Drew Robinson) was able to be awarded with First-Team All-League honors.

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