April 11, 2016

Rockets survive scare with Sages in 2012 title run

Beating Monticello on the road would be a tough row to hoe. Unity needed the win to stay in the running for the conference crown with upstart Shelbyville back during the 2012 season.

With just over five minutes left on the game clock, Rocket signal caller Justin Deters faked a handoff to running back Conner Grace. Instead of keeping the ball and pound out another first down on the ground in typical Unity fashion, Deters hit a wide-open Derek Hooker down the left sideline with a pass for the 27-yard touchdown. The TD gave Unity a 18-14 edge dashing the Sages' dream of a homecoming victory and a shot at a piece of the Okaw Valley Conference title.

Despite the best efforts of Ryan Donohue, who led his team with one TD and 107 yards on 18 carries, the Rockets' defense won the battle in the rain-soaked trenches to squeak by in another barnburner between the two rival programs. The loss was the fifth time in three years the Monticello football program felt the sting of being on the wrong side of the scoreboard after a grueling game against Unity.

The Rockets, improving to 3-0 in conference play and 6-1 overall, went on to finish the season 12-2 after falling in the Class 3A title game against Aurora Christian at the IHSA state finals at Memorial Stadium.

Below are eight photos from our archives that were uploaded to our new photo gallery earlier today. After you check out the pics here, go see all 52 photos from this exciting contest back in 2012.


Cameron Swearingen
Cameron Swearingen fires off the line to block for Unity while playing on offense.


Upside down player
A Monticello defender goes airborne while playing in his team's Okaw Valley Conference game at home against Unity.


Quarterback Parker Trice
Sages' quarterback Parker Trice pitches the ball just as a Unity defender latches on to bring him down.


Ryan Donohue
Monticello's Ryan Donohue loses control of the ball while trying to explode through Unity hard-nosed defense.


Justin Deters throws a long pass.
Unity Justin Deters leans back to throw a long pass against Monticello. The Rocket quarterback was 2-for-7 and nailed a game-winning TD pass to Derek Hooker in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 92 yards.


Ryan Donohue
The hard charging Monticello fullback Ryan Donohue, who continued his football career after high school at Butler University, runs through the Unity defense for a big gain during second half action. He finished with 109 yards on 18 carries in the heartbreaking conference loss. Donohue's longest run of the night was for 68 yards against the Rockets.


Derek Hooker scores
Rockets' Tyler Lindsey celebrates teammate Derek Hooker's 4th quarter go ahead touchdown.


Hamilton and Welter
Unity head coach Scott Hamilton hugs Monticello head coach Cully Welter after the game. Hamilton would coach his team to his fourth state final appearance of his career. See more photos from the game here in the Unity vs Monticello game gallery.


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