UNION — The Jackets defense wreaked havoc on Homecoming to secure a 28-6 Union County win over Chapman on Friday night.
Union County Head Coach Steve Taneyhill spoke on Wednesday about how necessary it would be for his defensive unit to pressure the Chapman quarterback and it did just that.
“Our defense needed this,” he said after the game. “We got some big third down stops, a couple of blocked punts and interceptions — I’m proud of them tonight.”
Union County (5-4, 2-2) held Chapman (4-5, 2-2) to three and out on its first possession and Chris Booker got the Union County offense rolling with a 20-yard catch on the ensuing drive. Adrian Brown followed with a 11-yard run before quarterback Keiston Smith hooked up with Booker again for nine yards. Victor Ruth snagged a couple of passes for first downs before Booker reached the endzone for a 20-yard touchdown. An errant snap on the point-after kick led to a 6-0 Union County lead seven minutes into the game.
Chapman drove inside the Union County 10-yard line before settling for a field goal for a 6-3 score.
Dontae Nash burst through the line to block his first kick of the night early in the second quarter allowing Union County to take over on their own 25-yard line.
The Jackets struck with a 12-yard touchdown run courtesy of Brown and Smith connected with Kalay Jones in the back of the end zone for the 2-point conversion.
Skeeter Smith sacked the Chapman quarterback to bring up fourth and 13 from the Panthers’ 42-yard line and Nash blocked the punt. At intermission, the Jackets led 14-3.
Chapman tacked on its final three points in the third quarter and Union County answered with a 29-yard quarterback keep on fourth down. Brandon Shetley’s PAT gave the Jackets a 21-6 advantage.
The Panthers drove down to Union County’s 8-yard line where Dylan Williams picked off a pass in the end zone to bring the offense back out.
A 29-yard pass to Jones followed by a 42-yard pass to Booker set up Trayvon Davis’ 7-yard touchdown scamper and Shetley’s kick was on the money for the 28-6 final.
Next week, Union County hosts Chester in its final region contest. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Union County Stadium.
The Union County JV also pulled out a victory over Chapman on Thursday night, 38-16. The JV Jackets are 4-0 in Region III-AAA and will play Chester next Thursday on the road for the Conference Championship.
Sports Editor Tiffany Grady-Hudgins can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by cell at (864) 251-4330.