Jackets over Eastside 35-14
By: Graham Williams
Union Daily Times
TAYLORS - Union rebounded from last week's disappointing loss to Clinton and defeated Eastside, 35-14, Friday night.
Injuries hampered the Yellow Jackets, as several starters did not play against the Eagles. Despite an injured shoulder, quarterback Cameron Willis threw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score. Kierre Smith, subbing for Fred Bates at running back, ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns before he too was hurt. L.J. Mobley had a productive night at wide receiver, catching seven passes for 114 yards.
After a slow start, the Yellow Jackets came to life late in the first quarter, driving 76 yards in eight plays with Smith scoring from 12 yards out. Brooke Jackson's point-after kick gave Union a 7-0 lead with 46 seconds left in the period.
Smith scored again midway through the second quarter on a 15-yard run for a 14-0 Union lead.
A good punt return by Mobley set up Union 's third touchdown, a 32-yard scoring pass from Willis to Jay Crawford with 2:40 left in the first half.
But just when the Yellow Jackets appeared to have control of the game, Eastside came back, scoring on a 24-yard pass from Austin Reeves to Will Bateman, cutting the margin to 21-7 with six seconds left in the half.
Union came out strong in the second half, mixing runs by Smith with passes from Willis to Travis Sims and Rodricius Henderson in a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Smith, who gained 58 yards in four carries during the drive, went the final 21 yards for his third touchdown, upping Union's lead to 28-7 with 9:23 to go in the third quarter.
Eastside refused to roll over however, and took just three plays to cover 75 yards and cut the margin to 14 points. After Reese connected with Michael King for 27 yards, running back Seth Cruell blasted through the Union defense for 46 more and the touchdown.
Union had several opportunities to put the game away after that, but hurt itself with penalties. The Yellow Jackets had just one penalty for 15 yards in the first half, but was flagged seven times for 72 yards in the second half. Eastside was nearly as mistake-prone, with six second-half penalties for 52 yards.
"We made a lot of mistakes," Union coach Tommy Bobo said. "Penalties really hurt us."
A fake punt attempt by Eastside late in the game failed, gave Union the ball at the Eagles' 13-yard line. After three carries by Jakaia Anderson, who was substituting for Smith, Willis called his own number on fourth down and scored from eight yards out for Union's last score.
The win improves Union's record to 2-1 in Region II 3-A and 2-4
overall. The Yellow Jackets return home next Friday to face Riverside for
Union 7 14 0 7 - 35
Eastside 0 7 7 0 - 14
First downs: Union 15, Eastside 7
Yards rushing: Union 133,Eastside 127
Yards passing: Union 231, Eastside 95
Passing, A-C-I: Union 15-24-0, Eastside 5-11-1
Penalties: Union 8-87, Eastside 9-88
Punts: Union 3-36.6, Eastside 4-28
Rushing: Smith (U) 19-133; Cruell (E) 15-96
Passing: Willis (U) 14-23-0, 210 yards; Whitney (U) 1-1-0, 21 yards; Reeves (E) 5-11-1, 95 yards.
Receiving: Mobley (U) 7-114, Crawford (U) 2-42, Duckett (U) 2-23, Arthur (U) 2-18, Sims (U) 1-21, Henderson (U) 1-13; Bateman (E) 2-56, King (E) 1-27, Hill (E) 2-12
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