The Union Spartans took the drive across the county line to take on the Pender Patriots for some Friday night football action.
The game was started by a Union kickoff to Pender. The Pender possession was short-lived as they were forced to punt the ball to the Spartan team. Union pushed down the field to field goal range but the kick was no good. Pender with the possession of the ball struggled to make any progress towards the endzone and the first quarter ended with a punt to Union.
Union started out the second quarter in possession of the ball, but a fumble gave the ball back to the Patriots. The Patriots tried to score with a field goal but it was missed. The Spartans gained possession of the ball, but turned it back to the Patriots after four downs.
A fake punt attempt gained some yards but it was not enough to get a first down.
At the 2:36 mark, Pender rushed the ball for a touchdown, followed by a two-point conversion. At the end of the second quarter the Spartans were behind, 8-0.
After halftime, the Patriots started the third quarter with a kickoff to Union. Spartan Andruw Brunson rushed the ball for 20 yards. This drive ended with a Jawawn Newkirk score at the 10:52 mark for the Spartans’ first touchdown. That was followed by a two point conversion, ran by Tamah Chestnutt.
The converstion tied things up at 8-8.
Pender would surrender the ball to Union on their next possesion thanks to an interception from Isaiah Fennell. The Spartans were held off by the Patriot defense, causing Union to attempt a field goal that was no good.
However, on the first play of the next Patriot possession, Spartan, Donovan Hayes, intercepted the ball. Union then quickly gave it back by throwing a pick of their own.
The score remained tied after 3 quarters.
The Spartans came out strong for the fourth quarter. Pender started with possession of the ball, but Union forced a fumble that was recovered by Spartan, Mason Barnes. At the 9:58 mark, Tamah Chestnutt rushed the ball into the endzone to push Union into the lead followed by quarterback, Dawson Thornton’s run for a two-point conversion.
On their ensuing drive, the Patriots could not get by the Spartan defense and were forced to punt the ball. Montrel Williams caught the ball off the punt and found pay-dirt as he returned it for another touchdown. Jawawn Newkirk added two more points to the score making it 24-8. The clock ran out and the Spartans took home the victory.
Stats were not available from Union at press time.
Head coach, Doug Burley commended his team on the win and how the guys worked to fill in some positions. “The boys did what it took for the win. Many guys took on new positions and they showed that they wouldn’t let this stop them,” he said.
Next Friday, the Spartans will play back at home against the East Bladen Eagles.