Prior to the game, coach Will Hickson told the team that they had two weeks of good practice. "If you beat them," he continued, "they will have four years to think about it. Make a statement. Take charge. We will start off with four pre-selected plays on a no-huddle offense. Be ready. Defense: Don’t get beat deep. Have fun."
UCHS kicked-off and it only took 17 seconds for Greer to get on the scoreboard with a 70-yard return for a touchdown. But the extra point failed and Greer led 6-0.
On the following kickoff, Adrian Brown got the ball to the 40-yard line. Quarterback Nate Willingham hooked up with wide receiver Trayvond Davis for a 35-yard pass, putting the Jackets on the scoreboard. Will Holcombe made the extra point and Union County led 7-6.
On the next series, Greer was unable to move the ball effectively thanks to a couple of tackles for loss by Brown and Jarred Fowler, forcing Greer to punt.
On the first play from scrimmage, running back Amos Miller broke a 43-yard run, followed by a 35-yard pass from Willingham to Michael Cunningham for a touchdown. Union County made the extra point and led 14-6.
During the second quarter, Greer again was unable to move the ball. On fourth and eight, the Greer punt was blocked by Jake Benfield. Brown picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. The extra point was good and the Jackets led 21-6 with 7:43 left in the half.
Cunningham covered the runner tackling him for no yardage on the kickoff return. That was followed by a big tackle by Kenneth Thomas, forcing a fumble, which Union County recovered at the Greer 8-yard line. After a couple of offensive plays, Willingham scored on a quarterback sneak. The extra point was good and UCHS led 28-6 with 5:47 left in the half.
Greer was unable to effectively move the ball the remaining time in the half. Sjavon Gibson got a big tackle for loss during their series and Brandon Parker had a big hit to stop Greer.
At the half, coach Hickson reminded the team that the game was not over. "They will make adjustments. As long as the O-line continues to block, it won’t matter what they do. There is too much arm tackling. We have only been running four plays and they can’t stop us."
Greer kicked off to start the half and the wheels started to come off for Union County. With some tackles for loss and penalties, UCHS soon was deep in their own territory. Kicking out of their end zone, a bad snap was recovered by Greer for a quick TD and Greer was on the scoreboard, 28-13.
Now it was Union’s turn not to be able to move the ball. After exchanges of possession, Greer was finally able to mount a drive and scored with 7:27 left in the 4th quarter.
On the subsequent kickoff, Miller streaked down the Greer sideline for a 75-yard return to the 5-yard line. After a couple of plays, Marcus Gory ran in for a TD. The extra point was good putting Union County ahead 35-19.
But Greer wasn’t done and moved the ball quickly for a score and made the two-point conversion, bringing the score to 35-27 with 4:35 left.
Union County was forced to punt giving Greer the ball. On the second play, Greer’s starting quarterback was forced to leave the game with an injury. The backup fumbled two plays later with Jake Benfield’s recovery sealing the victory.
Union County’s junior varsity football team defeated Greer 16-12 on Thursday.
Contrary to the 9th grade game which was a bit of a track meet, the JV game was a low scoring game.
But that’s not how it appeared on the kickoff, with Victor Ruth streaking up the Greer sidelines for a 75-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, Kieston Smith to Kalay Jones.
But Greer didn’t stay down long, scoring on a 21-yard pass play, but was unable to complete the two-point conversion. Union County led 8-6.
Union’s next drive was stalled by an interception and UCHS had to punt. A few plays later, Greer scored again on a short pass play but, again, couldn’t convert the two-point play. Greer led 12-8.
And that’s the way it stayed until the end of the half.
At the half, coach Caleb Clark told the team that Greer was not beating Union, Union was loosing to Union. "What are you going to do from here? I expect this to be your best half. Drop the hammer."
During the third quarter, Greer was able to move the ball, having success with passes into the flat, but could not score.
Union County then got the ball and mounted a strong drive, based on a key interception by Devian Davis and 30-yard run-back to the Greer’s 10-yard line. UCHS’ drive was damaged by a crucial holding penalty, moving the ball back to the 20-yard line. Smith was able to get it down to the 5-yard line, but the Jackets couldn’t punch it across, turning the ball over to Greer.
A tackle for loss put the ball on the 1-yard line, but Greer was able to complete a long pass, getting out of trouble. They continued to move the ball as the third quarter ended. But with a quarterback sack, the ball was turned over to Union County with 9 minutes left in the game. UCHS moved the ball, aided by a big 24-yard pass from Adam Gregory to Jones to the Jacket 35-yard line.
This was followed by another big pass play from Gregory to Ruth for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good and UCHS led 16-12.
With 2:38 left in the game, Greer got the ball on their own 37 and on fourth and five, Davis intercepted a pass. Union County ran out the clock for the win.
Quick Hitters: Greer coaches approached UCHS coaches after the game and complimented them on the team’s sportsmanship and attitude … Ruth and Jones both dropped the ball on key pass plays, but came back to make game-winning plays latter … Coach Clark was proud of how the team seems to stay level-headed during the game, not too high when things are going well or down when things aren’t.