Union County head coach David Lipsey gave his old coach a 35-30 victory to go along with his hall of fame plaque.
In what was expected to be an offensive showdown between Woodruff and Union County on Friday turned out to be a solo performance by the Jackets.
The Jackets’ defense held the Wolverines’ standout running back Shun Tribble to 31 rushing yards in the first half. The Wolverines managed only 150 total rushing yards in the game.
Woodruff marched down the field on a 11-play, 57-yard drive to open the game and Wolverine kicker Taylor Green’s field goal gave the Wolverines an early 3-0 lead.
Union County quarterback Keiston Smith left the field on the game’s second play, but when he returned with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter the Jackets took the lead and the momentum.
Three plays into the second quarter, Smith pumped the ball and threw a bomb down the Jackets’ sideline to sophomore wide receiver Victor Ruth for a 6-3 lead. Woodruff blocked Union County’s point after kick.
Green’s punt pinned the Jackets at their own 5-yard line. On the drive’s second play, Union County’s Dierris Beacham took the hand-off and raced 88 yards to the Wolverines’ 4. Smith took it into the end zone from 4 yards out for a 12-3 lead.
On their third consecutive second-quarter possession, the Jackets scored a touchdown. This time Smith found Ruth again for the score. Smith looked off the defender and then found Ruth streaking past the Woodruff defender for a 36-yard touchdown along the visitor’s sideline.
Union County’s two-point conversion failed but the Jackets led 18-3.
Union County kicked the ball to the Wolverines to start the half and the Jackets’ defense forced a Woodruff punt.
Smith led the offense on a 9-play, 68-yard scoring drive on the Jackets’ opening possession of the second half. Ruth caught his third touchdown of the game on a 16-yard third-quarter reception. Brandon Shetley’s kick was good and the Jackets led 25-3.
Woodruff threatened in the third quarter with Tribble’s 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 25-10 after Green’s PAT.
Smith answered on the Jackets’ next drive when he raced 38 yards to set up Shetley’s field goal. Union County was on top of Woodruff 28-10.
Woodruff scored on its next possession, cutting the lead to 12 points and making the score 28-16.
Union County’s running back Michael Johnson scored his first touchdown of the game on a 53-yard scamper ruining the Wolverines’ comeback chances. Shetley’s PAT was good and the Jackets took a 35-16 lead.
Woodruff’s Prennis Thompson returned William Holcombe’s punt 55 yards to score with 2:24 remaining in the game. Woodruff would come back to score one more time but could not overcome the Jackets as the home team walked off the field with a 35-30 victory.