McIntosh caps off season with road win at Union Grove

McIntosh caps off season with road win at Union Grove

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Derek Bertke and the McIntosh defense bottled up Union Grove all night, allowing just one yard rushing. (Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)
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Doug Wood drops into pass protection.

The McIntosh Chiefs get to head into the offseason riding high off a 17-12 road victory over the Union Grove Wolverines.
“We challenged this team tonight to finish,” said coach Lee Belknap. “It felt good to see these guys do what they had to do to win a ballgame and carry a win into the offseason.”
It was the perfect ending for the Chief seniors.
“It feels great,” said senior safety Robby Mustic. “Absolutely it’s an honor to play with these guys and play football in general. I’m part of a long history that I appreciate.”
The fourth win of the campaign looks even better for a team that was extremely young and battled a number of injuries. It’s not up to the par of the playoff team from a a couple of years ago, but it’s a long way from the teams that struggled for many years.
“Looking back, we capped the season. We started with a win, we finished with a win, and we had a couple in between,” said Belknap. “We reminded this group we are not where want to be, but we are not where we’ve been.”
The key to the win was a smothering defense that allowed only 138 total yards, most of them coming during a desperate fourth quarter comeback attempt, along with only one yard on the ground. Key plays were made across the lineup, whether it was Derek Bertke in the trenches, Owen Peacock and Brody King at linebacker, or Patrick and Zach Anderson in the secondary.
“We had fun out there flying around and making plays. It’s what we do,” said Mustic. “We finished how we wanted to.”
It was exactly what the coaches wanted to see.
“I’m very proud of the way the defense played,” said Belknap. “We turned them lose tonight. We didn’t really have anything fancy in the gameplan, we just wanted to play good, solid, fundamentally sound football.”
McIntosh’s offense started the scoring with the help of their special teams. Dawson Riesselmann pounced on a muffed punt, setting his team up in Wolverine territory. They wasted no time striking, Hunter Best hitting Dane Kinamon on a wheel route up the sideline 37 yards just short of the end zone. Best finished it himself, driving behind his line for a one-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead.
Starting well inside Union Grove territory on the first drive of the second quarter, the Chiefs followed the same pattern. On the first play, Best hit De’Andre Wade for 27 yards. Chridarrious Heard punched in it from one yard out for a 14-0 advantage that would last into the second half.
Kicker Parker Romo shook off a rough first half with a 28-yard field goal to give the Chiefs a 17-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Union Grove used two long passes and a personal foul on their next series to set up a short touchdown run to cut into the lead. Robby Mustic sliced around the edge to dive and block the extra point to make it a 17-6 game.
The Wolverines pushed past midfield on their next possession as well, but pressure from Owen Peacock forced a pass into coverage where Eathan Foncannon intercepted a deflection.
With time winding down, the Wolverines scored once more, Peacock swatting away the two point conversion attempt for a 17-12 margin. The Chiefs recovered the onside attempt to finish the night in victory formation.
Senior quarterback Hunter Best continued his late-season surge, completing 12 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Zach Seymour led the gourd game with 19 yards on 6 carries, followed by Bradley Ector with 13 yards on 3 carries. Dane Kinamon was the leading receiver with 4 catches for 71 yards, followed by Taylor Casterline with 4 for 26 and Jack Dee with 3 for 23.

Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.