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Brockway Freshman QB Fox Throws 3 TDs, Union/A-C Valley Comeback Falls Short

BROCKWAY (EYT/D9) — Trailing 28-6 not even a minute into the second half, it would have been easy for the Union/A-C Valley football team to simply surrender on the road at Brockway.

After all, the Falcon Knights were on their third quarterback of the night due to injuries. They had players in the game manning positions they had never practiced before. They were cramping and fatigued.

But Union/A-C Valley launched a comeback that came as close as bobble on what could have been a miraculous reception in the end zone away in a 28-20 setback to the Rovers at Frank Varischetti Field Friday night.

“These kids fought to the very end,” said Union/A-C Valley coach Brad Dittman. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

Down by eight late, Brody Dittman launched a pass into the end zone on a fourth-and-8 from the Brockway 38. It bounced around between two Rover defenders and Falcon Knights’ receiver Zac Cooper, who got two hands on the pass before it was knocked out of his grasp and intercepted by Jalen Kosko.

“We just didn’t make enough plays down the stretch to put that W on the board,” Brad Dittman said. “But that’s football.”

For Brockway, it was the coronation of freshman quarterback Brayden Fox.

The 5-foot-10 lefty completed 18-of-33 passes for 212 yards and three touchdowns alone in the first half to stake the Rovers to a 21-6 lead.

His 2-yard sneak with just 38 seconds gone in the third quarter gave Brockway a 28-6 advantage.

“We had a gauge on him, watching him play last year in junior high,” said Brockway coach Jake Heigel. “We knew he was our future. He puts all the time in and the kid does not ride emotions — he stays even-keeled. For a young guy, he’s very impressive.”

Union/A-C Valley, though, wasn’t going to go down that easily.

Dawson Camper scored on a pair of 3-yard runs and the Falcon Knights intercepted Fox twice in the second half to claw back into the game.

Camper had all three touchdowns for Union/A-C Valley. He scored on a 20-yard run to cut into Brockway’s 21-0 lead in the first half.

“We told them we could crawl out of that hole,” Dittman said. “And we nearly did.”

Brockway showed off its plethora of weapons.

Kosko caught six passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Carlson had seven receptions for 70 yards and Matt Pyne also had a TD catch for the Rovers.

Union/A-C Valley’s defense responded in the second half. The defensive line began to get pressure on Fox and the secondary was aggressive In coverage.

It was nearly enough.

Union/A-C Valley was haunted by mistakes and penalties.

The Falcon Knights had two touchdowns called back because of holding calls on their first possession and each of the three quarterbacks — Bailey Crissman, Trey Fleming, and Dittman threw interceptions. In all, Union/A-C Valley had five turnovers and muffed a punt with 30 seconds left to essentially end the game.

“We scored there early and we scored again there early and it got called back by penalties,” Dittman said. “It killed our momentum. We had a lot of early mistakes. We have to get that fixed and we will.”

Fox finished 23 of 45 for 259 yards.

Brockway rushed for just 18 yards on 15 attempts.

Mikey Card had a big day for Union/A-C Valley. He had a slew of tackles on defense and also rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries.

The Falcon Knights rushed for 300 yards as a team.

The win for Brockway may be a momentum-setter. Heigel, though, said there is still much work that needs to be done.

“We have a lot of things to fix,” he said. A lot. We’re not even touching how good I think we can be on offense.”

For Union/A-C Valley, the loss was humbling.

“We need to learn from this,” Dittman said. “We need to be humbled by this and move on.”

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.