Union's season ends at Jacket Bowl XI
Greer 21 - Union 16
By BRIAN WHITMORE
GREER - Union lost for the second time in three games to Greer, but this time hurt the most.
Greer defeated Union 21-16 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs on Friday night.
Greer will travel to Blythewood - a 17-7 winner over Lugoff-Elgin - for the third round of the playoffs. Union's season ends in heartbreak.
"I'm proud of the players, they played extremely hard," said Union coach Tommy Bobo. "We had some mistakes that we just were not able to overcome."
Union did better statistically, with 349 total yards, 269 passing by L.J. Mobley. Greer had 203 total yards, 123 yards passing by Taylor Johnson.
Union receivers had big nights, Jay Crawford with six grabs for 112 yards and Rodrick Gilmore with four for 115. Jerrick Gaffney led Greer with four grabs for 39 yards.
Despite all the passing, it was Greer's star running back that was the difference. Antoine Cross rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown.
"Greer played a real good ball game," said Bobo. "Give them credit. They found a way for Antoine to have some success. He did a good job running the football."
Union opened the scoring on its second possession, going 76 yards in seven plays. Crawford caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Mobley.
The Jackets penetrated to the Greer 6, but the drive stalled. Brooke Jackson kicked a 30-yard field goal to give Union a 10-0 lead.
Then things started to unravel for Union. Mobley - converted from receiver to quarterback last week when the Jackets lost their first three field leaders to injury - hurt his hand and had to come out of the game. Gilmore replaced him as Union was backed up at its 7-yard line.
Union had to punt and Justin Anderson appeared to return it for a score.
Offsetting penalties wiped out the score and forced another kick, but Greer had great field position at the Union 32. Gaffney caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Johnson and Daniel Fiske's kick was true.
Cameron Willis, Union first string quarterback who was out with a collarbone injury, came in the game. But Greer immediately recovered a fumble and Cross scored on a 25-yard run with 2:37 left in the half. Fiske's kick was true.
Mobley came back into the game, but Union couldn't get a score before the half. Greer led 14-10.
The third quarter was all Greer, as Union only ran two offensive plays.
After a long opening drive, Union's defense had an impressive goal line stand.
"I thought our defense did a great job playing and keeping us in the game," said Bobo.
After a Chad Fryar interception, Greer scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Thomas Simmons. Fiske's kick gave Greer a 21-10 lead.
Union responded in the final period after the teams swapped interceptions.
Colby Hawkins came through with a pick and Union marched 53 yards in seven plays to score. Devon Thompson went in from three yards out. His two point conversion run failed.
Trailing by five, Union's defense got the ball back for the offense. But what could have been the game winning drive ended on an incomplete pass.
Still, Union's defense got the ball back for the offense with 1:03 remaining. The drive ended with a Greer interception. Greer took a knee to survive.
"Our defense could have laid down, but they gave us the ball one more time," said Bobo.
Union finishes the season at 5-7. It's the Jackets first losing season since 1988, when the team finished 3-8.
Preparation immediately begins for next season.
"Hopefully our young kids will learn from it and come out
next year and be a little stronger," said Bobo.
Greer 21, Union 16
UHS 7 3 0 6 - 16
GHS 0 14 7 0 - 21
U - Crawford 38 pass from Mobley (Jackson kick)
U - Jackson 30 field goal
G - Gaffney 20 pass from Johnson (Fiske kick)
G - Cross 25 run (Fiske kick)
G - Simmons 26 pass from Johnson (Fiske kick)
U - Thompson 3 run (conversion failed)
First downs: UHS 13; GHS 9
Passing: UHS 15-27-269 (Mobley); GHS 10-21-123 (Johnson)
Rushing: UHS 80; GHS 80
Total Offense: UHS 349; GHS 203
Penalties: UHS 6-51; GHS 6-48
Turnovers: UHS 4 (3 INT, 1 fumble); GHS 1 (INT)
Rushing: GHS - Cross 27-86. UHS Smith 5-47
Receiving: GHS - Gaffney 4-39, Murphy 2-37, Simmons 1-26; Fryar 2-22. UHS - Gilmore 4-115, Crawford 6-112
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