Union County Beats Greer
Finish first season with winning record and 3rd in region II AAA
By BRIAN WHITMORE
Sports Editor - Union Daily Times
Union County will carry momentum into the playoffs after defeating rival Greer 30-20 on Friday night at Union County Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets (6-4, 5-2) host Belton-Honea Path next Friday in the opening round of the playoffs.
"We're undefeated at home," said coach David Lipsey. "Our kids like to play in front of the home folks. I think it's big to start off the playoffs here. I know our kids will be excited when next week's game comes."
UCHS is playing its best ball of the season.
The Jacket offense put up more than 400 yards on Greer, 291 yards on the ground. The Jacket defense held Greer to 218 yards offense and negative yards rushing in the second half.
Marcus Whitener rushed for 177 yards and a touchdown. Dwight Brannon rushed for 61 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 126 yards and a touchdown to Deion Thompson, who had two catches for 101 yards.
"This is a big win," said Lipsey.
Greer jumped out to a 14-0 lead after two interceptions. Quarterback Taylor Johnson scored on short runs.
"We were a little sluggish to begin with, like we couldn't get going," said Lipsey. "Give Greer credit, they came out with a lot of fire and played hard."
Union County answered late in the second quarter, going 65 yards in 12 plays. It was all Whitener and Brannon on the ground, resulting in a 6-yard Brannon score.
After a fumble and a 46-yard reception by Thompson, Whitener scored on a 1-yard run and Brannon ran for two points. At the half, the game was tied at 14 .
"I thought the second quarter we played well, came back and tied it up at half time," said Lipsey. "We kind of turned the corner and started playing some better football. It was big to get points on the board and have some big plays (before the half)."
Alex Tucker kicked a 22-yard field goal to give UCHS its first lead in the third quarter.
Thompson caught a 60-yard touchdown pass to give the Jackets a 23-14 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Union County went 85 yards in 9 plays. A 21-yard reception by Kierre Smith and a 31-yard run by Whitener helped set up the 15-yard touchdown run by Brannon. Tucker kicked the extra point.
Greer scored late in the game on a 38-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to Grant Simmons. The two-point pass and onside kick failed.
Two of Greer's scores came after interceptions, working with short field and the other was not against starters.
"I thought the defense played well, some timely plays by them," said Lipsey.
Now UCHS looks forward to the BHP Bears, the third-place team in Region I, who lost a battle for second-place to Greenville on Friday.
Union County 30, Greer 20
Greer 7 7 0 6 - 20
UCHS 0 14 9 7 - 30
G - Taylor Johnson 2 run (Holliday kick)
G - Taylor Johnson 1 run (Holliday kick)
U - Dwight Brannon 6 run (kick failed)
U - Marcus Whitener 1 run (Brannon run)
U - Alex Tucker 22-yard field goal
U - Deion Thompson 60 pass from Brannon (kick failed)
U - Dwight Brannon 15 run (Tucker kick)
G - Grant Simmons 38 pass from Johnson (2pt. pass failed)
Total yards: UCHS 417, Greer 218
Rush: UCHS 291, Greer 54 (-19 2nd half)
Pass: UCHS 126, Greer 164
First downs: UCHS 13, Greer 7
Penalties: UCHS 5-55, Greer 4-30
Turnovers: UCHS 3, Greer 3
Receiving: UCHS - Deion Thompson 2-101
Rushing: UCHS - Marcus Whitener 27-177, Dwight Brannon 61, Greer - Dominique Parks 113.
Region notes: Clinton won the Region II-3A championship
with a win over J.L. Mann ... Riverside finished second with a win over Blue
Ridge ... Union County finishes third, its only conferences losses to Clinton
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