Jackets dominate Eagles



Managing Editor - Union Daily Times

Bouncing back from a disappointing loss to Clinton, Union County High School ran roughshod over Eastside. 45-15, Friday night.

The Yellow Jackets ( 3-3. 2-1) rolled up more than 500 yards total offense against the winless Eagles (0-6, 0-3), including 411 yards rushing. Marcus Whitener led the ground attack with 199 yards on 13 carries and scored four touchdowns. Lamont Edney added another 83 yards on just four carries and also scored a touchdown.

"The offensive line did a good job blocking and Marcus made some good cuts," coach David Lipsey said. "He has great vision. The wide receivers blocked well, too."

Sophomore quarterback Keiston Stevens completed 7 of 11 passing attempts for 92 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Eastside was coming off a 57-0 pounding by Riverside, the Yellow Jackets had to prepare for the Eagles like any other opponent, Lipsey said.

"It's a game we needed to have," he said. "We got better as a team." Union County also saw some spread offense from Eastside, something they will have to defend against next week when the team travels to Riverside, Lipsey said.

The Yellow Jackets' defense set the tone for the game on Eastside's first possession. The Eagles had recovered a fumble on Union County's 28-yard line, but in five plays they only moved the ball 15 yards. On fourth down, Eastside attempted a field goal, but Yellow Jacket Kelvin Hardy broke through the line and fell on the ball before Ryan Fowler could kick it.

"I just anticipated the (snap) count," he said. "When I saw them move the ball I took off and the ball was still on the tee so I jumped on it."

Hardy's heroics fired up his teammates, who promptly drove 77 yards in nine plays for Union County's first score. Whitener caught an eight-yard pass from Stevens for the touchdown and Stevens kicked the extra point.

Union County added another score after Eastside missed a 47-yard field goal. Passes to Jeremy Porter and Dwight Brannon gave the Yellow Jackets a first down at the Eagles' 44 yards line. From there, Whitener took a handoff from Stevens, veered left and streaked down the sidelines for the touchdown. Stevens' PAT gave Union County a 14-0 lead.

Seginal Hardy recovered an Eastside fumble at the Eagles' 34-yard line to set up the Yellow Jackets' next score, a 24-yard scoring toss from Stevens to Porter. Stevens' point-after kick was wide and Union County led by 20-0.

Whitener scored his third touchdown of the half on a five-yard run, capping a six-play, 53-yard drive. Rhett Glenn's extra-point kick missed its mark, but Union County held a 26-0 lead.

An 11-yard Eastside punt on the Eagles' next possession gave the ball to the Yellow Jackets on Eastside's 20-yard line. Three plays later, Edney scored from seven yards out and Union County was up by 32-0 at halftime.

Whitener added his fourth touchdown midway through the third quarter, scoring on a 35-yard run. Whitener accounted for all of Union County's offense during the four-play drive, which began on the Yellow Jackets' 34-yard line.

Union County's final points came on a six-yard run by Smith with 2:34 left in the third quarter. The score was set up by Edney's 61-yard scamper through the Eastside defense, giving the Yellow Jackets a first down at the Eagles' 14-yard line.

"I see it before I do it," Edney said of his running style. "I just keep working my legs."

Edney, who was the featured back last year for Lockhart High, says he tries to make the best of every chance he gets to run the ball. Eastside scored its first points on its next possession when quarterback Drake Thomason connected with Steven Andrews on an 83-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles added another touchdown late in the game when Devajio Thompson hit Thomason with a 35-yard halfback pass.

Union County travels to Riverside next week.

Eastside     -  0  0  0 15 - 15
Union County - 20 12 13  0 - 45

UC - Whitener 11 pass from Stevens (Stevens kick)
UC - Whitener 44 run (Stevens kick)
UC - Porter 24 pass from Stevens (kick failed)
UC - Whitener 5 run (kick failed)
UC - Edney 7 run (kick failed)
UC - Whitener 35 run (kick failed)
UC - Smith 6 run (Glenn kick)
E - Andrews 83 pass from Thomason (Thompson run)
E - Thomason 35 pass from Thompson (Fowler kick)

First downs - Eastside 7, Union County 15
Yards rushing - Eastside 58, Union County 411
Yards passing - Eastside 193, Union County 92
Passing, A-C-I - Eastside 9-25-1, Union County 7-12-0
Penalties - Eastside 6-38, Union County 4-25

Individual statistics
Rushing - Thompson (E) 16-58; Whitener (UC) 13-199, Worthy (UC) 6-44), Edney (UC) 4-83, Smith (UC) 10-67, Palmer (UC) 7-12, Robinson (UC) 4-12, Mebane (UC) 1-8.
Receiving - Robinson (E) 2-37, Andrews (E) 1-83, Hasty (E) 2-33, Thomason (E) 1-35, Hill (E) 1-1; Porter (UC) 3-43, Brannon (UC) 1-21, Smith (UC) 1-18, Whitener (UC) 1-8, Edney (UC) 1-2.
Passing - Thomason (E) 8-24-1, 158 yards; Thompson (E) 1-1-0, 35 yards; Stevens (UC) 7-11-0, 92 yards, Mebane (UC) 1-0-0, 0 yards.


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