The Yellow Jackets and the Cougars both scored four times during the contest. Overall, UCHS’s Head Coach David Lipsey was pleased with his team’s performance.
“The effort was there. Overall, a good day of work,” coach Lipsey said.
The Yellow Jackets started the game on defense, and the eight returning defensive starters made it clear their squad will set the tempo.
Union County’s senior defensive end Desmond Floyd and junior defensive end JaShawn Thompson played exceptionally well vs. York. A day after verbally committing to Wake Forest, Floyd proved his worth as a pass rusher by collecting two sacks and forcing a couple of fumbles. Thompson added two sacks. Union County’s secondary stepped up by giving up only a couple of big plays and intercepting two passes. Cornerback Calvin Williams made a great play as he leaped above the York wide receiver for Union County’s first interception. Sophomore safety Derrick Good picked off another York pass late in the scrimmage.
The defensive intensity became a concern as they shut down York’s offensive production, while at other times allowing them to run and throw it at will.
“We have to be more consistent. We’ll play great, and then we don’t,” defensive coordinator Chip Bailey said.
The scrimmage had a different format rather than playing four quarters like that of traditional games. Each team ran six plays and then conducted a drive. Junior varsity players saw action and there were no special teams play during the scrimmage.
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets had many upsides in the game. UCHS found the end zone four times during the scrimmage vs. York, three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground.
Sophomore quarterback Keiston Smith threw a screen pass to Dierris Beacham who out raced York defenders for a 70-yard touchdown on the Jackets first possession. Smith made several more nice throws on the drive to post another score for the Jackets. Smith threw across the field to a wide-open Kendrick Byrd for big yardage to set-up another score. Floyd was on the receiving end of a jump ball for Union’s second touchdown of the game.
Union County’s underclassman made several outstanding plays. Sophomore wide receiver Victor Ruth caught a 52-yard touchdown from Smith. Backup sophomore quarterback Dakota Ivester made several nice reads and eventually would score a touchdown as he lowered his head and pushed back the defender for a 11-yard rushing TD.
Smith showed great composure in Tuesday’s scrimmage by stepping up in the pocket and creating plays when the pocket collapsed. His ability to scramble or throw the ball gives Union County a great advantage in the spread offense. Fullback John Simmons Fallaw showed signs of a great rusher as he barreled through York defenders to gain big yardage. Fallaw’s stocky frame gives him a low center of gravity as he delivers the blow when crossing the line of scrimmage- daring defenders to meet him head up.
The team will practice Tuesday-Thursday at 3:45 at the high school. This Thursday, a pep rally will be held at the Union County Fairgrounds beginning at 6 p.m. On Friday, the Yellow Jackets will play in the Clinton Jamboree vs. the defending 3A state champion Clinton Red Devils. The jamboree begins at 6:30 p.m, but Union County plays in the second half following the first game.