Vikings defeat Jackets 17-2, spoil
dreams of four in a row
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
Spartanburg seniors hadn't defeated Union after three straight season opening losses. They made sure they didn't go out 4-0 against the Jackets with a 17-2 victory on Friday night at Union County Stadium.
That battle of rivals is usually a close. Not this time. It was all Vikings.
"Of course, it's definitely not what we were hoping was going to happen," said Union coach Tommy Bobo. "We knew Spartanburg was a good team."
Spartanburg jumped out to a 7-0 lead on its first possession. Quarterback Nick Prochek scored on a 1-yard touchdown run.
The scoring drive covered 70 yards in 10 plays. The big play was a 27-yard run by Markus Robinson where he carried about six Yellow Jackets to the goal line.
Zycorrian Robinson also had two big catches (18 and 10 yards) on the drive.
The Vikings again struck in the second quarter. Robinson took the handoff and threw it to Scott Harward for a 21-yard touchdown.
This drive covered 63 yards in nine plays. Alton Norris caught a 17-yard screen pass and Harward a 13-yard throw to help set up the score.
"Prochek is a super quarterback and he made some reads that hurt us the first half," said Bobo.
Another Spartanburg drive ended on a missed field goal. Union's offense didn't do much in the first half, but did threaten late before an interception.
The Vikings opened the second half with a 32-yard field goal by Derrick Cupstid, following a 67-yard, seven-play drive. A key play to set up the score was a 44-yard catch by Robinson.
Both teams exchanged fumbles on the next two plays. Then the Jackets finally got something going on offense as quarterback Cameron Willis found Dontee Stewart for 19 yards and Kierre Smith for 18, but the drive ended with an incomplete pass.
The fourth quarter started with Union's defense holding Spartanburg on downs. Another defensive highlight was an interception by Kenneth Harris.
That pick gave the Jackets the ball on the Viking 17-yard line, but the drive ended when Stewart caught a pass just out of the endzone. Willis was hit hard and hurt his shoulder on the fourth-down play and didn't return to the game. Coaches said he should be OK.
Spartanburg took over at its 11-yard line, but Union's defense didn't give anything. The Vikings chose to take a safety, rather than risk a blocked punt, as Markus Robinson ran out of the back of the endzone.
"I thought we played a lot better in the second half," said Bobo. "The guys stayed in there and played hard. We're going to take the second half and try to build on it."
Union's offense had one last chance to score after the free kick and had
excellent field position, but Spartanburg's Terry Briscoe intercepted a Bryce
Duckett pass and the Viking ran out the remaining clock.
Pass: Union 77; Spartanburg 191
Rush: Union 57; Spartanburg 57
Total Offense: Union 134; Spartanburg 248
First Downs: Union 7; Spartanburg 14
Penalties: Union 3-15; Spartanburg 8-50
Turnovers: Union 3; Spartanburg 2
Union Individual stats
Passing: Cameron Willis 5-10-67-1; Bryce Duckett 1-2-10-1
Receiving: Dontee Stewart 1-19; Kierre Smith 2-22; Troy Epps 1-13; Tramaine Pendergraph 1-13; LJ Mobley 1-10
Rushing: Kendrick Neal 9-30
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