The Union Spartans traveled to take on the Princeton Bulldogs Friday night, but lost in a hard fought game 34-16.
Princeton received the ball to start the game but the Union defense was ready and held the Bulldogs to take over early in the first quarter. After a long pass from Isaac Underwood to Trey Underwood, the Spartans had the ball at first and goal. They would not score as the Princeton defense held them and took over on downs. The teams changed possessions several times and the quarter ended with no points on the board.
As Union was punting on fourth down on their first possession of the second quarter, a bad snap gave the ball to Princeton inside their own 10 yard line. Princeton scored and then kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0 early in the second.
On the kickoff, Vance King got the ball and ran it all the way in for a touchdown but it was called back on a phantom holding penalty. Union got the ball on the Princeton 35 yard line, but Union was not able to move the ball on this series.
The Bulldogs went nowhere on their next possession either and the ball was back to the Spartans and this time Union drove down the field with a strong running game. Isaac Underwood took the ball in on a 12-yard run for a touchdown and also scored on the 2-point conversion to put the Spartans up 8-7.
The Bulldogs would score once more before halftime to make the score at the half 13-8.
Union was set to receive the ball to begin the third quarter but Princeton recovered the onside kick. Union’s defense stepped up and held the Bulldogs on fourth down, but after questionable ball placement Princeton kept possession. They scored a touchdown on the next play and kicked the extra point to make the score 20-8. After several good defensive stands by the Spartans, the third quarter ended.
The fourth quarter began with Union in possession of the ball and driving down the field with big runs by T. Underwood and King. With the ball on the Princeton 35, the Underwood brothers connected on a pass play for a touchdown. Isaac to Trey King ran in the two point conversion to make the score 20-16.
Princeton drove down the field on their next possession and scored a touchdown and extra point to make the score 27-16. The Union offense drove down the field again but another touchdown was called back because of a penalty. The Bulldogs then held the Spartans on downs to get the ball back and drive down the field. The Bulldogs scored again to close out the game 34-16.
“I thought we played a good game but it didn’t go our way,” said UHS coach Doug Burley.
The 2-5 Spartans will be on their home field next Friday night as they celebrate homecoming against the undefeated North Duplin Rebels.
Reach Sebrinia Johnson at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.