GREER — Greer escaped Union County with a win in week three’s Jacket Bowl but the rematch on Friday night had a different result and the reward was even sweeter than revenge.
With a 31-14 win at Greer , Union County advances to round three of Division AAA playoffs where they are set to meet A.C. Flora on the road next week.
“We talked about it this week — We must play 48 minutes of football,” said Union County Head Coach Steve Taneyhill. “That’s what we didn’t do against Chester, but it’s what we’ve done in the last two weeks and we’re moving on because of it.”
Wide receiver Chris Booker, who has been a dynamic addition to the defense at safety, made highlight reel plays on both sides of the ball. He stopped a promising Greer drive with an interception in the third quarter that Union County capitalized on for a lead it would keep.
Midway through the first quarter, Booker snagged a 62-yard catch off a slant pass that put the Jackets on the 9-yard line before Shrine Bowl quarterback Keiston Smith found him in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The PAT was wide-right for a 6-0 Union County lead.
Greer answered on the ensuing possession with a 13-yard hand off from quarterback Josh Gentry to Brooke Chapman and the successful point-after kick gave Greer the 7-6 advantage.
On the first possession of the second quarter, running back Adrian Brown put Union County on the Greer three-yard line with a seven-yard scamper and followed up with a touchdown to push his Jackets ahead 12-7. Union County’s two-point conversion was no good and Greer responded on the next series with a touchdown courtesy of Emmanuel Kelly. With the PAT, Greer reclaimed a 14-12 lead that they carried into intermission.
Union County captured an 18-14 lead in the third when Booker’s interception set up a drive that Victor Ruth capped off with a 15-yard touchdown but the two-point conversion failed.
On third and fifteen, Smith evaded defenders for 30 yards to the one-yard line where the ball was stripped but Booker picked it up and took it the rest of the way for a score. An errant snap on the PAT resulted in a 24-14 Union County lead.
T.J. Foster recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter and also provided Union County with it’s final touchdown of the night off a 31-yard grab.
“It was close at the half and came down to turnovers,” said Taneyhill. “That’s what it comes down to. They turned the ball over and we capitalized. Our guys are getting used to fighting till the end and I think we did a good job tonight. Book (Chris Booker) made an interception that was a giant play for us. It ended a drive and gave us momentum. In the playoffs things like that will help you win a ball game.”
Sports Editor Tiffany Grady-Hudgins can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com