Jackets get home victory
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
Union won its first home game of the season and clinched a playoff spot with a 21-2 win over J.L. Mann on Friday night at Union County Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets' defense dominated, allowing Mann just 62 yards total offense, zero on the ground. Union's offense put up 182 yards, 122 on the ground. Kierre Smith had 91 yards on 25 carries and scored two touchdowns.
"We're excited about the way they played," said coach Tommy Bobo. "I thought the defense played extremely well. The offensive line is continually getting better and Kierre ran extremely hard tonight. We didn't throw the ball much - made some plays when we needed to.
"I'm tickled for our seniors, this is senior night for them and we finally got the win at home. Hopefully we can get some momentum going on this."
Union's first score came after after a bad snap on a Mann punt gave the Jackets the ball on the Patriot 10-yard line. Jay Crawford caught a touchdown pass from Cameron Willis and Brooke Jackson added the extra point. After a Mann punt, Union went 63 yards in 10 plays, with Smith scoring from 17 yards out. Jackson's kick gave the Jackets a 14-0 lead.
Mann threatened late in the first half, inside the Jacket 20, but tried to spike the ball on fourth down with 24.4 seconds left. Brandon Jeter scooped up the ball and returned it the the Patriot 19 as time expired.
Mann recovered two Union fumbles in the first half, but could do nothing with them. The Patriots had lots of trouble punting early.
In the third quarter, Union went 46 yards in nine plays to score. Smith went in from 1-yard out and Jackson's kick gave the Jackets a 21-0 lead.
Union had three interceptions in the second half - Colby Hawkins with two and Brandon Jeter with one.
The Jackets looked poised for a shutout, but a high snap on a punt forced Willis to kick the ball out of the end zone, giving Mann a safety.
The game was long, going three hours, thanks mostly to Charter Cable television timeouts, lots of penalties from the referees and incomplete passes.
The Patriots (5-4, 3-3) didn't seem to want to go home, calling timeouts and spiking the ball with seconds left.
Overall, it was a good team win for Union, Bobo said.
"I feel like we're starting to develop that unity - team atmosphere," he said.
Bobo was complimentary of J.L. Mann.
"JL Mann played a super game tonight, they played hard," he said. "They're very talented. We are fortunate to get this win."
Union (4-5, 4-2) travels to Greer next week for a battle of Yellow Jackets.
Union 21, J.L. Mann 2
Mann 0 0 0 2 - 2
Union 7 7 7 0 - 21
U - Jay Crawford 10 pass from Cameron Willis (Brooke Jackson kick)
U - Kierre Smith 17 run (Jackson kick)
U - Smith 1 run (Jackson kick)
R - safety
First downs: U 12; J 6
Passing: U 6-9-60 (Willis); M 62
Rushing: U 122; M 0
Total: U 182; M 62
Turnovers: U - 2 (fumbles); M - 4 (3 INT, 1 fumble)
Penalties: U 9-73; M - 7-56
Rushing: U - Smith 25-91, Worthy 3-19
Receiving: U - Crawford 3-29, 1 TD; Mobley 1-13
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