OVERLAND PARK -- Zach Travis' interception of a Josiah Thill pass with 40 seconds remaining preserved Uniontown's 21-20 victory over Kansas City Christ Prep on the artificial surface at Shawnee Mission District Stadium here Saturday night.
Travis' pick came just seconds after Christ Prep had been given a prime opportunity to steal the victory, taking possession at Uniontown's 34-yard line after an 8-yard punt by Jordan Woods.
The Eagles improved to 4-2 on the season. The Patriots fell to 1-5, their only victory of the season coming over Central Heights in September.
Woods gave Uniontown the lead first when he scored on a 5-yard run on the Eagles' first possession of the game. Seth Sympson's extra-point kick made it 7-0 with 8:52 left in the quarter.
Woods' score was set up by Garrett Murrow's 37-yard gain to the Prep 9 on the first play of the drive. Murrow's speed gave the Patriot defense fits throughout the contest. Prep's line couldn't beat Murrow to the edge and he would have 81 yards by the end of the period.
Prep responded to the Eagles' score by marching 76 yards in 11 plays on the next possession to get a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Thill. However, the extra-point failed.
Travis extended Uniontown's lead late in the second, rolling left then tucking the ball and taking it to the end zone himself from 5 yards out with 3:20 left in the half. Sympson's PAT kick made it 14-6.
The Eagles forced a punt but Travis couldn't keep control of the ball and Prep fell on it at the Uniontown 18 with 2:21 to go. Four plays later, Thill scored his second TD of the night on a keeper to the right side. The Patriots went for two points but Thill couldn't complete the pass, which kept the Eagles in front by 2.
Though Prep ran a spread offense most of the night, the Patriots were most effective when running the ball. Jesse Mann, a fullback-type featured in the one-back sets, gave the Eagle defense the same difficulty as Murrow gave Prep's. His 58-yard gain in the third put the ball at the Uniontown 3-yard line with Thill scoring on another sneak two plays later. Jack Layman ran a reverse in for the 2-point conversion and the Patriots had the lead for the first time, 20-14, with 4:37 left in the third.
This time, Uniontown had to respond and it did with a 7-play, 70-yard drive. Fullback Trenton Miller's only carry of the night was a key play, gaining 19 yards on a third-and-1 at the 50. On the next play, Murrow found a big hole in the right side of the line and scampered 31 yards to tie the score with 2:07 left. Sympson's PAT kick put the Eagles back up 21-20.
Robert Kuns thwarted Prep's next drive with an interception. But the Patriots would not allow the Eagles to capitalize.
Woods boomed a 58-yard punt halfway through the fourth quarter that pinned Christ Prep back at its own 18. The Patriots were able to hold on to the ball, gaining 5 and 6 yards on runs while Thill began to connect on some passes.
On what would have been its 14th play of the drive, Prep was called for a hold on a running play. Instead of having the ball inside the Eagle 10, the Patriots were backed up to their own 26 for first-and-22. Thill threw three straight passes, two of which were incomplete. With 2:52 to go, the Patriots settled for a 39-yard field-goal attempt by Timothy Finley, which fell well short of the end zone.
The Eagles took over and moved the ball to a fourth-and-1 at the 29. They called time out with 47 seconds left, then came out to see if they could draw the Patriots offsides. When they couldn't, they called time out again before the 8-yard punt and Travis' subsequent game-clinching play.
Christ Prep finished with more total yards, 339 to 273. But rushing numbers were closer with Prep gaining 256 yards on the ground to Uniontown's 244.
Murrow finished the game with 148 yards on 22 carries while Woods had 51 on 11 rushes. Travis completed 3 of 8 passes for 29 yards. Woods caught 2 for 15 yards.
Thill completed 10 of 23 passes for 83 yards but was intercepted twice. Mann finished with 165 yards on 14 carries while Thill gained 89 on 14 rushes.
Uniontown will begin Class 3A District 4 play Friday night when they host undefeated Wellsville, which has already clinched a share of the Pioneer League championship.
Uniontown....... 7 7 7 0 -- 21
Christ Prep..... 6 6 8 0 -- 20
U -- Woods 5 run (Sympson kick), 8:52 [4, 46, 1:27]
CP -- Thill 2 run (kick failed), 3:47 [11, 76, 4:59]
U -- Travis 5 run (Sympson kick), 3:20 [10. 45. 6:26]
CP -- Thill 2 run (pass failed), 1:32 [4, 18, :49]
CP -- Thill 1 run (Layman run), 4:37 [4, 78, 1:48]
U -- Murrow 31 run (Sympson kick), 2:07 [7, 70, 2:19]
RUSHING: Uniontown -- Murrow 22-148, Woods 11-51, Travis 6-29, Miller 1-19, team 1-minus 1, Jefferis 1-minus 2. Christ Prep -- J.Mann 14-165, Thill 14-89, Layman 4-2.
PASSING: Uniontown -- Travis 3-8-0-29, Wiley 0-1-0-0. Christ Prep -- Thill 10-23-2-83.
RECEIVING: Uniontown -- Woods 2-15, Sympson 1-14. Christ Prep -- Finley 5-41, Mills 2-11, Layman 1-14, Roberts 1-11, J.Mann 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS: Christ Prep -- Finley 39 (Short).