Union Grove hands Delavan-Darien first loss

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Eric Schmoldt
September 11, 2015

DELAVAN—Union Grove hadn't gone unbeaten in the first month of a football season in decades.

The Broncos put that streak to rest Friday and showed their 4-0 start is no fluke.

Junior quarterback Matt Nelson helped Union Grove convert third down after third down then delivered a dagger of a deep pass in the final minutes, and the Broncos knocked off Delavan-Darien 28-16 in a battle of Southern Lakes unbeatens.

“Last week we were the first team to go 3-0 for the school in 20 years. Now 4-0 really shows what the coaches are doing with us,” Nelson said. “It's all heart with our team. I've never seen a team with this much heart.

“If we're two yards short, we're going to fight to get it.”

The Broncos showed that in coming from behind twice.

Delavan-Darien took a 9-0 first-quarter lead on Pablo Gomez's field goal and Fabias Shipman's 2-yard plunge after Ethan Cesarz blocked a punt.

But the Broncos erased their deficit by halftime when T.J. Cadd ran in the first of his two touchdowns and Nelson hit Tyrell Laxton for a 34-yard score with just 13 seconds to go before halftime.

The Comets regained the lead in the third quarter. A penalty extended their first drive of the half, and they cashed in when junior Jake Benzing found Seth Kirsch from 10 yards out.

Outside of that drive, Delavan-Darien's high-octane offense never found its groove. Benzing had very little time, Shipman found himself wrapped up behind the line more often than not and the Comets totaled just 217 total yards.

The Broncos used a drive of more than five minutes to march down the field and take the lead midway through the third quarter. Cadd capped off the 68-yard drive with a 2-yard run.

The Comets had a chance to regain the lead in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Benzing ran 30 yards on fourth-and-12 deep in Delavan-Darien territory, and the Comets moved 60 yards down the field before their drive fizzled out.

On the Broncos' ensuing drive, it appeared Delavan-Darien's defense was about to force a three-and-out to get the ball back for one last effort for its offense. But on third-and-12, Nelson went deep over the middle to Joseph Peterson for a back-breaking 68-yard touchdown that all but ended the game with 2:43 remaining.

“We were hitting a five-yard out route all game … and the safety started creeping down trying to jump it,” Nelson said. “So we knew that was there. We were just waiting for the time to pull it out.”

Nelson threw for 234 yards and ran for 34 more. Peterson had eight catches for 106 yards.

Benzing threw for 116 yards and a touchdown and ran for 73 yards but threw two interceptions as the Comets suffered their first loss.

They'll attempt to bounce back at Lake Geneva Badger next week.


Union Grove 0 14 7 7—28

Delavan-Darien 9 0 7 0—16

DD—Pablo Gomez 29 field goal. DD—Fabias Shipman 2 run (run failed). UG—T.J. Cadd 8 run (Cole Kevek kick). UG—Tyrell Laxton 34 pass from Matt Nelson (Kevek kick). DD—Seth Kirsch 10 pass from Jake Benzing (Gomez kick). UG—Cadd 2 run (Kevek kick). UG—Joseph Peterson 68 pass from Nelson (Kevek kick).

Statistics: First downs—UG 18, DD 12. Rushing—UG 40-88, DD 30-101. Passing yards—UG 234, DD 116. Passes—UG 30-20-1, DD 28-8-2. Fumbles—UG 1-0, DD 0-0. Penalties—UG 7-70, DD 12-87.

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