Monroe Central defense stands tall in shutout win over Union County
On a cold, windy, rain-filled senior night, Monroe Central (5-3) defeated Union County (1-7), 45-0. It was the Golden Bears’ rushing attack that propelled them to the victory as they turned to five different running backs for their scoring.
Joel Kennedy punched through the goal line for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Golden Bears an early seven-point advantage with 5:05 left in the first quarter.
Monroe Central used that same attack for the remainder of the game, totaling 344 rushing yards on the night.
After the first quarter, the Golden Bears had a one-touchdown lead. Sam Feola gave them a 13-0 lead after a 9-yard touchdown run with 11:02 to go in the first half. The senior running back finished the game with 114 yards on 11 carries.
Union County struggled on both sides of the ball the entire night. The Patriots did not advance into Monroe Central territory until 8:16 to go in the first half of play.
The Patriots got as close as the 6-yard line, but they were unable to take advantage. After two fumbled snaps, the Patriots had no choice but to let the first half clock expire.
Monroe Central’s defense had four takeaways on the night. This was the Golden Bears’ first shutout of the season. Their defense has given up an average of 22 points per game this year.
“They stood up in big moments,” head coach John Hochstetler said about his defense.
Patriots quarterback Zach Hill was playing in only his second game this season after suffering injuries from a car crash before the season began. Hill recorded 38 passing yards with five completions and one interception.
Monroe Central quarterback Jackson Ullom only completed two passes, totaling 22 yards. The sophomore averages 171 yards per game, but due to the conditions, he said he wasn’t able to post his usual passing numbers.
“You get deep in the season, and you have games like this,” Ullom said.
On a night where the Patriots had 41 rushing attempts, Monroe Central held them to just 130 yards on the ground.
Hochstetler said senior lineman Logan Swallow sets the tone on defense. He recorded six tackles on the night including one tackle for loss.
Monroe Central will be on the road to face Shenandoah next week to wrap up the 2019 regular season.