Union traveled to Princeton Friday evening to take on the Bulldogs in a game that kept the fans on their feet. Despite a valiant effort by the Spartans, Union came up short by 1 point, with a score of 42-41.
Union struck first as Dezmond Faison continued his brilliant season Friday evening. Faison scored on a 31 yard touchdown run to get his night started off the right way. After a Bulldog touchdown, Faison broke free again, this time on a 45 yard punt return for a touchdown. Union led 14-7 after one.
Neither team moved the ball all that well in the second quarter, but Princeton’s running back broke through the Union defense for a score, tying the game at 14-14 going into the halftime break.
The rest of the game kept the tempo high, as a pair of Spartan touchdowns in the third quarter matched a pair of Bulldog touchdowns. Princeton failed to convert on an extra point, and Union led 28-27 headed into the final period.
Princeton scored first in the fourth quarter, and the Bulldogs were successful on their two-point conversion try. This gave them a 35-28 lead.
Then, the Spartans got another touchdown from Faison. This time a 14 yard counter play that ended up in the end zone. They were tied again at 35 a piece.
After the Spartans regained possession, they took the lead with a little more than five minutes left in the game. You guessed it, Dezmond Faison broke free again for a touchdown giving Union the 41-35 lead. The PAT was blocked by the Bulldogs however.
Princeton marched down the field on their next drive, and scored a touchdown to tie the game at 41 with 2 minutes left in the ball game. The PAT was good, and the home team had the lead again.
Union failed to convert on a 4th down situation from their ensuing drive, and Princeton ran the clock out, winning by a point, 42-41.
Dezmond Faison was everywhere Friday. He had a career night, as he had 23 carries for 230 rushing yards,
308 all purpose yards, and 5 touchdowns. The senior also had 6.5 tackles as he continues to put up big numbers this season.
Shyquan Brunson had a catch for 65 yards, Tim Smith had a catch for 17 yards, and Ryan Hall went 3-7 through the air for 86 yards.
Corey Smith had 8.5 tackles including a sack, Malcom Mints had a fumble recovery, and Chris Nash, who was moved up from the junior varsity squad played some big defensive minutes for Union contributing on 5 tackles.
Coach Doug Burley of Union was disappointed in the loss, but proud of his team.
“The young guys stepped in for us tonight and did some nice things. We just need to make some adjustments defensively, and start to prepare for next week,” finished Coach Burley.
Union falls to 1-3 on the season, and will host West Bladen next Friday evening. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.