Jackets open region play with rout
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
Union opened region play with a 35-7 rout of Clinton Friday night at Union County Stadium. The Yellow Jacket defense again ruled the night, holding Clinton to 147 yards total offense, 127 of them on the ground. Most of the Red Devils' rushing yards came on one drive.
Union's offense looked sharp, with 358 total yards, 260 through the air.
"We really came out and played Union football tonight," said Union coach Mike Anthony. "We challenged our offensive guys all week. I think our kids responded to the challenge we gave them."
Trailing 20-0 at the half, things got worse for Clinton when Union's Kendrick Lyles called for a fair catch on a punt midway through the third quarter and was hit by Blake Underwood. Union quarterback Justin Knox proceeded to find Tyrone Chick for a 33-yard touchdown. Maness' kick was good and Union led 28-0.
Clinton responded with its only real drive of the night, going 62 yards in 13 plays, all on the ground and mostly on the legs of Chetyaune Reeder, who scored from 2 yards out and with seconds to play in the third quarter. Jordan Barnes' PAT cut the deficit to 28-7.
The Red Devils attempted an onside kick, but Union's Jamar Peake recovered. The Jackets made sure Clinton didn't seize any momentum, quickly driving 47 yards behind Eirish Stevens and De'Rail Sims. Stevens scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and Maness' PAT was good for the final score.
Union had one more impressive play from its second team as L.J. Dye caught a 44-yard pass from quarterback Steven Brewington.
The first half was all Jackets.
Union's defense held Clinton to 49 yards total offense and four first downs, allowing the Devils' power running attack just 29 yards. The Jackets racked up 221 yards total offense.
Union scored on its first drive of the game, marching 65 yards in nine plays. A 27-yard Knox to Chick reception set up a 9-yard Knox touchdown run. Maness' PAT was good for a 7-0 Union lead.
The Jackets drove 77 yards in 11 plays on their second drive, with Stevens scoring on a 9-yard run. Maness' PAT put Union ahead by 14-0. A 16-yard C.J. Lott catch from Knox and a holding penalty on Clinton set up the score.
"We came out with five wide (receivers)," said Anthony. "We thought we were quicker and think that's the reason we had those two deep passes that really helped us."
Clinton's Shamick Young intercepted a Knox pass in the second quarter, but the Red Devils gave the ball back four plays later when quarterback Marcus Lott was sacked by a swarm of Jackets and fumbled.
Union had an impressive drive going late in the half, but stalled in the red
zone and Maness missed a 32-yard field goal.
The Jacket defense held Clinton to three-and-out, giving the offense 19 seconds to generate more points. It took one play, as Knox found Lott on a 51-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left in the half. Maness' PAT was good for the three touchdown advantage at the half.
Union (5-1, 1-0) hosts Newberry next Friday.
"We're still not where we want to be," said Anthony. "Wešve
still got some things we've got to correct, but shoot how can you complain about
a 35-7 win."
First downs: Union 19; Clinton 14
Turnovers: Union 1, Clinton 1
Penalties: Union 7-35; Clinton 7-56
Rushing: Union 98; Clinton 127
Passing: Union 260; Clinton 20
Total offense: Union 358; Clinton 147
Passing: Knox 12-25-260; Brewington 1-1-44
Rushing: Stevens 16-55; Sims 6-36; Knox 8-15; Reeder (Clinton) 22-82
Receiving: Lott 6-118; Chick 3-76; Stewart 2-22; Dye 2-55
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