Jackets dismantle the Bears 33-0

 

By GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Managing Editor - Union Daily Times

HONEA-PATH - Offense may win ball games, but defense wins championships, and Union' s defense helped propel the Yellow Jackets into the third round of the 3-A state playoffs with a 33-0 victory over Belton-Honea Path Friday night.

Union held the Bears to minus-seven yards rushing and only 38 yards passing while allowing their hosts just two first downs.

"If we have a chance to go a long way it's because of our defense, "Union coach Mike Anthony said.

Union, 9-3, will play Eastside, a 24-7 winner over York, in next week's game.

The Yellow Jackets took control of Friday's game from the opening kickoff, keeping the ball on the ground and driving 93 yards in 15 plays to take a 3-0 lead on Nick Maness' 25-yard field goal. Tailback Eirish Stevens ran for 26 of his game-high 122 yards and quarterback Justin Knox added another 52 yards, en route to a 79-yard rushing night.

A good punt return by Kendrick Lyles set up Union's first touchdown, a six-yard run by Knox which capped a four-play, 23-yard drive. Maness' extra point gave Union a 10-0 lead with 10:50 left in the first half.

Union's offensive success was complemented by its defense, as linemen Travis Norris, Jamar Porter and Rashaad Jackson repeatedly pressured BHP quarterback O'Bryan Clinkscales into hurried throws and stopped their Bears' rushing attack cold.

On the night, Clinkscales completed just three of 13 pass attempts and threw three interceptions. The first one was picked off by Chad Robinson and led to a 29-yard Maness field goal that gave Union a 13-0 lead.

The Yellow Jackets left little doubt about which team would advance in the playoffs after its final possession of the first half. With less than three minutes remaining, Union put together a 91-yard drive that culminated with Stevens catching an 11-yard scoring toss from Knox for a 20-0 halftime lead. Key plays were a 36-yard run by Stevens and a 16-yard pass from Knox to  C.J. Lott.

Two more BHP miscues - a fumbled pitch by Clinkscales recovered by Robinson and a Marcus Glenn interception - resulted in Union's two second half touchdowns. The fumble recovery gave the Yellow Jackets possession at the Bears' 15-yard-line and after three straight carries by Stevens, Knox faked a handoff on third down and found Lyles - who lined up in a full house backfield - for a two-yard scoring pass.

Tyrone Chick scored on a 31-yard pass for Union's final touchdown, faking several defenders on his way to the end zone.

"The focus of this team has been totally different since the Broome game," Anthony said. "They're conscious of doing the right things."

Union  3 17 6 7 - 33
BHP    0 0   0   0 -  0

Unofficial statistics
First downs: Union 13, BHP 2
Yards rushing: Union 223, BHP 4
Yards passing: Union 85, BHP 40
Passes, A-C-I: Union 8-17-0, BHP 3-14-3
Fumbles lost: Union 0, BHP 1
Penalties: Union 5-40, BHP 4-33
Individual statistics
Rushing: Stevens (U) 22-128; Knox (U) 11-79, Sims (U) 5-9; Miller (BHP) 6-25
Passing: Knox (U) 8-14-0, 85 yards; Brewington (U) 0-2-0, 0 yards;
Clinkscales (BHP) 3-13-3, 38 yards
Receiving: Lott (U) 2-31; Chick (U) 2-36; Stevens (U) 1-11; Lyles (U) 1-2; Callahan (U) 1-2; Langley (U) 1-4; Jackson (BHP) 2-19; Miller (BHP) 2-19.

 

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