9th Grade and JV – Clinton
By: Paul Davis
The Jacket 9th grade team and JVs made it four regions wins in a row with both teams victorious over the Clinton Red Devils Thursday night.
Contrary to many of the past games, the 9th grade Jackets had a low scoring game.
Clinton got on the board first running it in from the five-yard line. The attempt at two-point conversion failed and the Red Devils led 6-0 with 1:40 left in the first quarter.
The Jackets got the ball on the Clinton 39-yard line after a good runback by Michael Cunningham. Amos Miller got the first down at the Clinton 29 and then carried it to the 15. After a recovered fumble at the 18, Trayvond Davis took it to the 6-yard line on a sweep. Miller took it in for a TD. Brandon Shetley split the uprights with what would be the game-winning points and Union led 7-6.
The second half was scoreless with neither team able to dominate the other.
Union 7 Clinton 6.
Quick hitters: CJ Gardin was in on two key tackles for loss… defensive end Nate Williford also had a TFL… Gardin and Kenneth Thomas forced a Clinton fumble in the second half which was recovered by Kenneth Thomas… Williford and Adrian Brown also teamed up for a TFL…Kenneth Thomas also had a TFL along with Marc Hardy…Miller got off a good 20-yard run in the third quarter while Williford hooked up with Michael Cunningham for a 20-yard pass play…after the game, Coach Will Hickson congratulated the team reminding them, “To be a champ you have to act like one.” Coach David Lipsey challenged the players to stay together during the next three years…co-captains were Williford and Brown.
Going into overtime usually is exciting enough but the way Union did it made the game one of the most exciting of any Union County football game in the three years of Union County High School’s young existence.
For most of the game it was all Clinton with Union struggling on offense and defense.
Down 24-6, Union scored on a 25-yard run and two-point conversion by quarterback Keiston Smith aided by a key block by offensive lineman Dusty Rhinehart with 3:00 left in third quarter making the score 24-14.
With just 51.6 seconds left in the game, Clinton scored but Union held on the extra point. Clinton 30-14.
Game on ice for Clinton?
Needing to score four times in 56 seconds, Union went to work.
Union got the ball up to the 43-yard line, 1st and 10, when Keiston Smith let loose a 60-yard TD pass to Michael Edwards who had beaten the Clinton DB. Smith then ran it in for 2 points making the score 30-22.
With just 30.9 seconds left on the clock, Union tried an on-side kick which was recovered on the Clinton 43. Smith and Edwards hooked up for another big pass play with Edwards making a high-light film catch putting the ball on Clinton’s four-yard line. Smith then ran it in for a TD and then the two-point play with 8.2 seconds left on the clock.
Union got the ball on the ten-yard line and scored on it the first play with Smith again running it in for another TD but the two-point play failed.
Clinton got their chance running the ball down to the six-inch line. On fourth and inches they were stopped cold by Kiandre Riley and Ross Norris.
Union 36 Clinto 30.
Quick hitters: Coach Caleb Clark reminded them of the important lesson this game should have showed them: “Never give up. Take this lesson to the varsity.”… co-captains were Dieris Beacham and Rickey Rice…Tyler Roark and Ross Norris had a TFL… Victor Ruth chased a Clinton runner for 52 yards before catching him from behind saving a TD at that point…Darrius Rice had a blocked punt and ran it back for 15-yards.
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