The 72nd UNICO All-Star Classic turned into an intense showdown on Saturday night, showcasing the incredible talent of Holy Redeemer quarterback Jacob Hunter and his high school teammate Zach Perta. The dynamic duo displayed their exceptional passing skills, propelling the Pioneers to a 20-7 victory in the second half.
Hunter’s outstanding performance earned him the game’s MVP title. He completed 5-of-11 passes, tallying an impressive 126 yards. Two of those throws resulted in touchdown connections with Perta, spanning 28 and 84 yards. Hunter also showcased his versatility as the team’s leading rusher, gaining 60 yards on 14 carries.
As they approach college, Hunter expressed their shared sentiment:
“We’re going our separate ways in college, so we knew this was our last chance to show people what we’ve accomplished together. It’s been an exhilarating three years with him. He’s like a brother to me.”
Hunter and Perta’s camaraderie extended beyond the football field, as they were also teammates in basketball and track at Redeemer. Perta expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to play one more game alongside his “QB1,” stating,
“It was the best moment of my life getting one more game with him. I love playing with the kid. He’s such an athlete, he’s such a stud. Good luck to him in college. It sucks we have to split with each other, but I’m really excited for what he has coming in the future.”
Hunter and Perta’s Explosive Touchdowns Secure Victory for the Pioneers
On The 72nd UNICO All-Star Classic Game Hunter’s first touchdown pass to Perta came in the third quarter on a 28-yard slant, giving the Pioneers a 13-7 lead.
The Miners’ hopes for a comeback were dashed when Hunter launched a pass to Perta, who found himself wide open with no defenders within 25 yards. Perta effortlessly caught the ball near midfield, utilizing his exceptional speed to leave everyone in the dust. This touchdown, combined with the extra point, secured a commanding 20-7 lead for the Pioneers with only 45.2 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Pioneers initially took the lead with a 7-yard touchdown run by Harry Pugliese from Pittston Area, who showcased his strength and agility, outmaneuvering the defense to reach the left pylon.
The Miners managed to tie the game 7-7 before halftime thanks to a remarkable three-play, 68-yard drive orchestrated by Noah Schultz from Crestwood. Schultz rushed for gains of 22 and 5 yards before connecting with Hanover Area’s Sean Dooner on a 41-yard touchdown pass.
Despite their valiant efforts, the Miners struggled with penalties throughout the game, accumulating 12 flags for a total of 135 yards. Several of these penalties were due to unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls, resulting in the ejection of two players from the team.