Jackets cruise past Travelers Rest
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
Union dominated Travelers Rest early and then cruised to a 28-6 first round playoff win on Friday night.
Kendrick Neal rushed for more than 100 yards and Cameron Willis passed for more than 100 yards with Jarvis Griffin and Dontee Stewart his favorite targets.
The Yellow Jackets did the damage early, jumping out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
"I thought, the first half, we came out and played extremely well and were very focused," said coach Tommy Bobo.
On the first play of the game, Neal ran for 53 yards to the TR 2-yard line. He scored on the next play.
"We've been trying to run the football more," said Bobo. "Kendrick's stepped up. He's been playing a little banged up, a little bruised up, but he goes hard every play."
The Devildogs fumbled on their first possession and Union's Devon Thompson recovered on the TR 26-yard line.
Griffin caught a touchdown pass from Willis on the next play.
"Griffin's made the move from offensive tackle - he's playing tight end and wing back," said Bobo. "He's been making some key catches for us and he finally got into the end zone. I was tickled to death to see that."
Willis later scored on a 20-yard touchdown run. Tramaine Pendergraph partially blocked a TR punt and Griffin caught a 12-yard pass to set up the score.
In the second quarter, Stewart caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Willis. A Kierre Smith punt return and Stewart catch set up the score.
The Jackets led 28-0 at halftime. Union coaches pulled the reigns in the second half.
"We scaled back some things," said Bobo. "We didnšt want to show everything offensively or defensively. And we tried to play a lot of kids in there."
David Gregory kicked all his extra points, but uncharacteristically missed two field goals from 38 and 32 yards.
Union's defense limited TR to 176 yards total offense, but most of that came against younger players in the second half. Chad Johnson had an interception and Travelle Burros a sack.
The Devildogs avoided a shutout on the last play of the game. Receiver David Waddell threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Mike Garrison.
Union (5-6) advances to the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. The Jackets will host Daniel (7-4), a 48-20 winner over Chester.
"We had a great crowd and atmosphere tonight," said Bobo. "The
kids are continuing to, we hope, get better every week."
Union 28, TR 6
Union 21 7 0 0 - 28
TR 0 0 0 6 - 6
First downs: Union 11, TR 11
Passing: Union 102; TR 77
Rushing: Union 185; TR 99
Total offense: Union 287; TR 176
Penalties: Union 5-40; TR 6-40
Turnovers: Union 0; TR 2 (fumble, INT)
Union individual stats
Passing: Cameron Willis 6-14-102
Receiving: Jarvis Griffin 3-52; Dontee Stewart 3-50
Rushing: Kendrick Neal 14-107; Kierre Smith 10-59; Cameron Willis 3-18.
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