Jackets hang tough with Indians

 

By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times

GAFFNEY - With 8 minutes left the game was tied, but Gaffney pulled out a 27-7 win over Union County on Friday night.

The action was fast and furious in the second half. The Yellow Jackets fumbled the opening kickoff and Gaffney recovered, but UCHS' defense held on a goal line stand.

The Jacket offense took over and drove 99 yards to tie the game at 7. Three personal foul penalties on Gaffney aided the drive, the first resulting in an ejection. Kierre Smith caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Keiston Stevens. Rhett Glenn's kick was good and Union County had the momentum.

The Jackets next drive came up one-yard short on fourth down and the Indians made them pay, cashing in on a 31-yard touchdown run by Steffen Foster. The kick failed.

Gaffney quickly struck again when Robert Butler intercepted a Stevens pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. The kick was good for a 20-7 Indian lead.

Gaffney wasn't finished, driving for its third score of the fourth quarter as Foster scored from 6 yards out with 56.5 seconds left. The kick was good for the final margin.

Union County didn't lay down, driving to the Gaffney 7-yard line as time expired on the strength of three Lamont Edney catches and a Dwight Brannon reception.

"I thought we played extremely hard," said UCHS coach David Lipsey. "It's 7-7, we go for it on fourth down and didn't make it and they converted a big third down on us and then the draw to run it in and then we came back and threw a pick, but I was proud of our effort tonight."

The only score of the first half came on Gaffney's second possession. Jeremiah Cochran busted free on a 43-yard run to set up a 5-yard David Dewberry quarterback sneak for the touchdown. Josh Harris kicked his first of three extra points.

Union County was in scoring position twice in the first half, driving once to the Gaffney 24 with the drive ending on downs and again to the Indian 19-yard line with a 37-yard field goal going wide right to end the half. Union County (1-2) hosts Wade Hampton next Friday, starting Region II-AAA play.

Notes: Changes to the offensive line seemed to work for the Jackets. "I thought it paid off," said Lipsey. "I thought we rushed the ball a lot better tonight. I think that's the line up we're going to have to stick with." ... Two big plays on the Jacket's 99-yard touchdown drive were a 23-yard run by Marcus Whitener and a 21-yard catch by Marcus Lott.

Gaffney 27, Union Co. 7
UCHS     0  0  7   0   -   7
Gaffney   7  0  0  20  -  27
G - David Dewberry 5 run. Josh Harris kick.
U - Kierre Smith 18 catch from Keiston Stevens. Rhett Glenn kick.
G - Steffen Foster 31 run. Kick failed
G - Robert Butler 35 interception return. Harris kick.
G - Foster 6 run. Harris kick.

Total Stats
Passing: UCHS 70; GHS 71
Rushing: UCHS 174; GHS 166
Total: UCHS 244; GHS 237
First Downs: UCHS 8; GHS 6

Individual
Rushing: UCHS - Marcus Whitener 127; GHS - Jeremiah Cochran 66, Steffen
Foster 34

 

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