NU wins Mad River crown

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Trevor Moran (10) of North Union stiff-arms Blake Peterson (18) of Ben Logan Friday night. Moran rushed for four touchdowns and surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark during the Wildcats’ 48-6 win. (Journal-Tribune photo by Sam Dillon)

The Wildcats of North Union sit alone at the top of the Mad River Division in the Central Buckeye Conference, winning a league title in their inaugural year.
The Cats did it with a 48-6 win over Benjamin Logan on Friday.
NU head coach Nick Hajjar said the final game of the season ended liked he would have hoped after a long week of challenging the team to finish on a high note.
“I challenged the guys to finish it right all week and we found a way to do that,” he said.
NU found a way with the help of correcting an early fumble on the Wildcats’ opening drive when Ethan Young came up with the football on an interception after the Raiders drove deep into North Union territory.
The pick gave North Union a swift switch in momentum.
The Cats answered with a solid drive of their own that ended with Trevor Moran finding the end zone from nine yards out.
Ricky Weigand added the point after to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Hajjar said the quick flip in energy was a big part of the Wildcats ‘early success against a highly-motivated Ben Logan outfit.
“That (interception) was huge,” he said. “We knew they (Ben Logan) were going to come out with high energy being their senior night. They knew what was at stake for us and all teams want to go into the off-season with a win.”
The success continued for the Cats in the opening stanza when the defense gave the Wildcat offense no time rest with a quick three and out.
NU’s offense took no time at all to find its second TD when Moran scampered down the sideline on a 26-yard run.
That play allowed him to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season. Weigand sailed the kick through the uprights for a 14-0 lead with 2:02 left in the quarter.
The Raider offense didn’t stay on the field long.
They fumbled on their first play after the kick-off, giving NU ball inside the red zone. Trevyn Feasel took the ball down to the two-yard-line.
He finished the drive on the following play to give NU its third TD of the quarter. Weigand went three-for-three on PATs to give North Union a 21-0 lead by the end of the stanza.
The two sides exchanged defensive blows in the beginning of the second quarter, but the Cats tallied their fourth touchdown midway through the quarter.
Moran made his third trip to the end zone on a 12-yard run. Weigand gave NU a 28-0 lead.
The Raiders scored their only touchdown as the second quarter was drawing to a close.
Austin McGown found Blake Peterson on a deep pass for a 70-yard TD.
The Wildcats’ linemen were able to get their fingers on the PAT kick to make a 28-6 game at the half.
Hajjar said it was important for the Cats to take a solid lead into the locker room.
“We hit another TD right before the half, knowing they were going to get the ball to start the second half,” he said. “It was important for us to get the score in our favor before halftime.”
The Wildcats came out after the break and continued their ground game domination.
Moran ran in from two-yards out for his fourth touchdown and Feasel broke a long 50-yard run late in the third quarter to give NU a 41-6 advantage.
Hajjar said his Cats have shown a lot of resiliency this season, especially in their first year against CBC teams.
“For our football team, we are conference champs outright and that is agoal of ours every year,” he said. “I’m proud of the team.
“They were resilient this year and I have a lot of love for these kids.”
NU’s defense added a little icing to the cake when Isaiah Radcliff returned an interception for the TD in the fourth quarter.
Weigand added another point with a solid kick to make it a 48-6 game.
With the emotions so high between the neighboring districts, Hajjar believes a new CBC rivalry is in the works.
“We have scrimmaged these guys for over a decade and even before entering the CBC, this was one school that kept a lot of non-league games,” Hajjar said. “There are a lot of kids who know each other and I think it will develop into a good rivalry.”
The Wildcats finished the 2019 season with a 7-3 record and 5-0 in the CBC Mad River Division.



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