It was a beautiful crisp fall night for football and the Union Spartan seniors, who would go out in a winning fashion, taking care of the Midway Raiders 22-10.
Both teams had three-and-outs during their first possessions.
Union began play on their own 23-yard line. They would run 16 plays, two of which were a 12-yard run by quarterback Nazir Goodwin and a pass reception from Goodwin to Ty Treavers for 12 yards that allowed the drive to continue. On first-and-goal from the one, Tyler Murphy plunged in the end zone for the Spartan score, giving Union a 6-0 lead with 10:47 remaining in the second quarter.
The Union offense found themselves deep in their own territory as Goodwin was tackled in the end zone for a safety to cut the deficit to 6-2.
On the Spartans’ next possession they put together an 88-yard drive 0n big plays by Goodwin, Trey Underwood and Chris Nash. The drive ended when Donovan Hayes scampered in the end zone for touchdown. Nash would cruise in the end zone again for the two-point conversion putting the Spartans up 14-2 late in the second quarter.
Union would receive the kickoff to open the second half in great field possession. On a crucial third-and-7, Goodwin found a wide open Warren Gay for a 22-yard reception. The next play from scrimmage, Underwood would take it for a 27-yard touchdown run. The Spartans would had a 20-2 lead with 9:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Raiders would get their running game going with Jake Clark carrying the pigskin seven times in the drive and scored from one yard out. The two-point conversion by Clark was also successful, cutting the deficit to 20-10 with 5:22 left in the third.
The Spartans would turn the ball over when Midway’s Jererius Rich would pick off a pass and the Raiders appeared to be back in business, but the Spartans dug in deep to hold the Raiders.
The final score of the game came on third down deep in Midway territory. The center snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head in the end zone for the second safety of the night, extending the Union lead to the 22-10 final.
Midway head coach Jason Fussell said after the game that his team made some crucial mistakes that hurt them.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot a lot. They had a good drive in the first touchdown. The second drive they had third down and eight and they busted for nine. Fourth down and nine, they get 10. Hats off to them for making the great plays,” Fussell said. “We dropped a couple of passes, missed some assignments. We didn’t execute on key downs. Second half we did better and we play hard.”
Union coach Doug Burley said it was a big win for them, especially for the seniors.
“We played well on offense and defense. We’re now 7-3 and I’m pretty happy about that,” concluded Burley.
Clark had a big night on both sides of the ball. Defensively, he had 14 tackles and on offense he gained 52 yards and scored a touchdown. Carson Calcutt and Derrick Loftis had 11 and nine tackles, respectively.
Sha’king Warren rushed for 50 yards for the Raiders.
The Raiders are now 5-5 and 2-7 in the Four County Conference. They will host Wallace-Rose Hill on Friday at 7 p.m. The Spartans are 7-3 overall and 6-3 in the conference. They will travel to Clinton on Friday to take on the Horses. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Melony Henderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.