CHESTER — Union County defeated Chester in a contest which was close, at times, Friday night.
The Union County Yellow Jackets traveled to Chester to play the Cyclones in their last game of the season. Defensive lineman Jamarcus Henderson sustained bruising during an auto accident, but he was on the sidelines to support his team during the game. Sophomore QB Dierrus Smith started the game with a series of short passes. Freshman Shi Smith ran 33 yards for a first down and then followed up with a touchdown. After the PAT by Blake Berry, the score was 7-0.
After an unsuccessful drive by Chester, Smith connected with a 32-yard first down pass to TJ Foster, which was followed by another touchdown, with Union County taking a 14-0 lead.
As Chester took possession of the ball, the team fumbled and Union County’s Cameron Queen recovered it. After a holding penalty on Union County, Smith threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Foster, putting Union County ahead 21-0.
This time, Chester drove the ball down the field, and offensive lineman Chris Carr ran in the touchdown, making the score 21-7 with 52 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the next drive, Union County faked a punt on the 4th down, and Smith then connected with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Foster, increasing Union County’s lead to 28-7.
Then, Chester’s Earl Hetton returned the kick all the way for a Chester touchdown, making the score 28-14.
After Union County took back possession, QB Dierrus Smith injured his collar bone and was taken out of the game. QB Ben Beck was put in the game. Berry then kicked a 21-yard field goal, making the score 31-14.
Chester then returned the kickoff all the way again for another touchdown, making the score 31-21.
It was then reported that Union County had three injured players (including Smith), and Tavante Woods was taken off the field with a possible concussion.
Chester then attempted an onside kick, but Union County took possession of the ball. The drive was unsuccessful, however. When Chester recovered possession of the ball, Lorenzo White caught a screen pass for a touchdown, making it a three-point game with a score of 31-28 as the game went into halftime.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Chester turned over the ball with a fumble caused by Queen and recovered by Brannon. Union County was unable to get the first down, however, and Chester took back possession of the ball.
From there, the game was hard fought on the part of both teams, and with 8:43 left in the game (at 4th and goal), QB Matthew Barnett attempted a pass to TJ Foster, and Chester was penalized for pass interference. Then, Barnett connected with Shi Smith, and with the PAT, Union County took a 38-28 lead. It was reported defensive lineman Caleb Henderson suffered a sprained knee.
With 1:50 remaining in the game, Chester’s Caldwell received a 40-yard touchdown pass, making it a three-point game with a score of 38-35.
Chester then attempted an onside kick, but Union County got the ball at Chester’s 40 yard line. From there, Union County was able to hold off Chester, run down the clock, and come away with a 38-35 victory.