Union loses heartbreaker
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
York defeated Union 36-35 on Friday night.
The Cougars took the lead with 1:35 to go when Dwayne Adams caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from flanker James Rhodes and Spencer Lanning kicked the winning extra point.
Union had one last shot, moving into field goal range at the York 21-yard line with seconds left. Quarterback Cameron Willis completed four passes, the biggest a 39-yard grab by LJ Mobley, to give the Yellow Jackets a chance at victory, but Willis misfired on his next throw, Adams picked it off and York won.
"We were so close right there it hurts," said Union coach Tommy Bobo. "At the same time, that's part of the character that's still being built with this group. They could have easily tucked it in at 17-0, but they didn't do that."
Union and York swapped the lead throughout the night.
The Cougars jumped out quickly to the 17-0 lead in the first six minutes on a 29-yard Lanning field goal, a 26-yard interception return by Wayne Johnson and a 61-yard end around by Marty Markett.
Union came right back with a 15-yard touchdown catch by Troy Epps, a 28-yard touchdown catch by Mobley and a 12-yard run by Kendrick Neal. The Jackets led 21-17 at the end of the first quarter.
"They showed me a lot of character in the first quarter when we came out and made a couple mistakes - it was a snowball affect and the next thing you know it was 17-0," said Bobo. "But we told our kids to slow the tempo down and we did, made some good plays and all of a sudden we're back in the ball game and riding some momentum ourself."
Lanning kicked two field goals - 46 and 34 yards - in the second period to give York a 23-21 lead at halftime.
Pip Smith scored on a three-yard run early in the third quarter to put Union back on top, 28-23. Troy Epps scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter to extend the Jacket lead to 35-23.
York recovered a Union fumble and later scored on a 4-yard run by quarterback Tyrone Love. Lanning's kick was blocked.
That set the stage for the last minute heroics of Adams and York. But even with the loss, Union played its best game of the season going into region play.
"They played extremely hard," said Bobo. "I'm very proud of the way they played tonight."
Union (0-5) hosts Clinton next week.
York 36, Union 35
York 17 6 0 13 - 36
Union 21 0 7 7 - 35
First downs: Union 21; York 10
Passing: Union (Cameron Willis) 10-17-2-161; York 7-19-168 - Love 117, Rhodes 51
Rush: Union 218; York 81
Total: Union 379; York 241
Penalties: Union 7-41; York 9-63
Turnovers: Union 5; York 2
Rushing: Union - Kendrick Neal 18-99; Cameron Willis 6-35; Troy Epps 6-20; Pip Smith 5-21; Kierre Smith 9-43. York - Kris Moore 53
Receiving: LJ Mobley 4-83; Pip Smith 3-33; Rodrick Gilmore 2-23; Jack Arthur 1-22. York - Dwayne Adams 2-60
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