UNION — The Yellow Jackets are surging into Friday night’s Region III-AAA bout versus Chester with a rejuvenated defense that held a Chapman team that had been averaging 35 points per game to just six (two field goals).
Meanwhile, the Union County offense put up 28 points of its own en route to a win that was imperative before playoffs. The Jackets are now tied with Chester at 2-2 in region play, setting up this week’s contest that will decide a No. 2 playoff seed.
While the Union County coaching staff awarded Chris Booker the overall Yellow Jacket of the Week for his efforts against Chapman, running back Adrian Brown was named Offensive Player of the Week with 13 carries for 133 yards and a touchdown.
Antonio Tucker received Defensive Player of the Week with three tackles and an interception and Dontae Nash picked up Lineman of the Week honors with six tackles, (1 TFL), and two blocked punts.
Nash, a junior fresh off the J.V. scene, supplied the Jackets with horsepower on Friday night and Union County’s defense played with a new-found sense of urgency.
“This is what playing J.V. does for you,” declared Union County Head Coach Steve Taneyhill after Friday’s game.
Things are coming together for the Jackets.They showcase an array of offensive talent including four extremely capable wide-receivers — Booker, Kalay Jones, T.J. Foster and Victor Ruth — along with running backs Brown and Trayvon Davis.
Quarterback Keiston Smith, who was recently named to the 2012 Shrine Bowl team, is reminiscent of a young Donovan McNabb making plays with both his arm and legs.
The defense has been led by DB’s Skeeter Smith and Jordan Spencer and DE’s Jamarcus Henderson and Devontae Wood. With Nash in the trenches and Tucker in the secondary Union County appears to be have a complete defensive package and are peaking just in time for playoffs.
Coupling a hard-hitting defense with an effective, high-powered offense could spell trouble for not only Chester on Friday but also for any other team put in Union County’s path in the coming weeks.
Sports Editor Tiffany Grady-Hudgins can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by cell at (864) 251-4330.