Union County vs. Clinton
Round 3 of the 2009 Playoffs
By: Brian Whitmore - Union County News
Clinton’s Hayden Rogers did it again. For the second time this season, he launched a game-winning, last-second field goal to beat Union County.
The Red Devils (10-3) won 17-14 on Friday night in the third round of the state playoffs and advance to play Daniel (a 14-7 winner over Greenville) for the upper state championship. UCHS finishes the season at 7-6.
Rogers was the hero with his 20-yard boot with seconds left. The kick capped an 85-yard, 14-play drive by Clinton. UCHS called two timeouts to ice Rogers, but he was unshaken. He also made the game winning kick with seconds remaining in the Red Devils 13-10 win over the Jackets during the regular season.
Things started better than they finished for Union County. Clinton fumbled the first two times it touched the ball -- the opening kickoff and after its defense had stopped UCHS on fourth down as the Jackets were threatening to score. Michael Mebane rushed for 124 yards on the night and two touchdowns of 3 and 17 yards.
UCHS led 14-0 at halftime and appeared to be cruising to the upper state title game. But the second half was a disaster for the Jackets.
Clinton came alive and went on an 80-yard, 13-play drive in the third quarter to score. Taviouzie Booker, who rushed for 100 yards, scored on a 4-yard run. With 7:57 left in the game, Ryan Underwood caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Grant Templeton to tie the game. Templeton was 7-of-13 for 103 yards and a touchdown. Underwood made five grabs for 83 yards.
Those scores set up the drama at the end of the game.
How different were the two halves for each team? UCHS held the ball more than 16 minutes in the first and Clinton more than 16 minutes in the second. The Red Devil defense held the Jackets to 136 yards offense, just 55 yards and two first downs in the second half.
“We played well and we played hard,” said Jacket coach David Lipsey. “They made the plays in the second half.”
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