Greer takes Jacket Bowl VI

 

By GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Managing editor - Union Daily Times

You could say the law of averages finally caught up with Union, or you could say Sinclair Cannon and the Greer Yellow Jackets are the real deal.

Either way you say it, Union saw its hopes for a region title ride away on the Greer team bus after a 36-21 loss Friday night.

"What a great game," a gracious Union coach Mike Anthony said. "All we can do is congratulate Greer. They had a great game plan and had only one penalty and no turnovers. They played a nearly perfect ball game."

Union, however, was less than perfect, and Greer capitalized on two turnovers, converting them into touchdowns.

A 90-second span in the third quarter saw Greer score twice and build a lead Union was unable to overcome.

Leading 13-7, Greer got great field position after a short Union punt and quickly moved 41 yards in seven plays. Cannon plunged over for the score and a 19-0 lead after the two-point conversion try failed.

On the ensuing kickoff return, Union's Kendrick Lyles was stripped of the ball and Greer recovered at the 18. Four plays later, Arthur Sitton scored from four yards out and Will Smith's kick gave Greer a 26-7 lead with 7:09 remaining in the third quarter.

Another Union miscue later in the period set up Greer's final touchdown. A Justin Knox pass slipped through Tyrone Chick's hands and into Mark Foster's waiting arms and he returned the ball to Union's 20-yard line. On third and eight, Union's defense smothered Cannon, but he found Sitton open in the right flats and the junior running back sailed untouched into the end zone. Smith's PAT put Greer ahead by 33-7.

"When we were down 33-7 I told my players 'we'll find out what kind of people we have," Anthony said.

Union moved quickly upfield on its next possession behind the running of Knox and Eirish Stevens, along with a key third down pass for 23 yards to the speedy tailback. Stevens scored from two yards out and Nick Maness' kick cut Greer's lead to 33-14.

An onside kick attempt was recovered by Union at Greer's 28-yard line and five plays later, Knox sneaked in for the touchdown and a 33-21 deficit.

That's as close as Union was able to get, however, as a Smith field goal late in the fourth quarter provided the final margin.
"Hopefully we'll get to play them again this year," Anthony said, adding that Union must first defeat Broome next Friday just to make the playoffs.

Greer started off with a bang, as Cannon kept the ball, broke several tackles and sailed down the right sideline for a 65-yard touchdown on the game's first play from scrimmage.

Union responded later in the first quarter when Stevens scored on a seven-yard run to knot the score at 7-7.

Greer took the lead for good early in the second quarter when Cannon found Tyrone Williams on a fade route for a 19-yard touchdown. Smith's kick was wide and Greer led 13-7.

Union, 2-2 in the region and 6-3 overall, travels to Broome on Halloween night.

Unofficial  statistics
First downs: Union 13, Greer 9
Yards rushing: Union 168, Greer 149
Yards passing: Union 148, Greer 133
Passing, A-C-I: Union 11-24-1, Greer 7-16-0
Penalties: Union 6-30, Greer 1-5
Fumbles lost: Union 1, Greer 0
Individual statistics
Rushing: Stevens (U) 23-100, Knox (U) 10-33; Cannon (G) 22-108, Sitton (G) 12-36.
Receiving: Chick (U) 5-35, Stevens (U) 3-47; Williams (G) 3-54; Sitton 3-36.
Passing: Knox (U) 11-24-1, 148 yards; Cannon (G) 7-16-0, 133 yards


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