Skip to content

Points aplenty at OC-UC?

Points aplenty at OC-UC?
All indications point toward a shootout.
Though with decidedly-different weapons, Union City and Obion Central could provide plenty of fireworks Friday night at Troy when the two Obion County rivals meet for the 47th time on the gridiron.
Each team has proven capable of doing damage offensively — the Tornadoes with a prolific ground game, the Rebels through the air.
UC (3-1) will come into the contest averaging 309 yards rushing and 390 overall. Seventeen of the Twisters’ 19 touchdowns have been achieved via the run, and the Purple and Gold average 6.5 per-attempt every time it rushes the ball.
Quarterback Colton Speed has rushed for 595 yards and nine TDs through four games, and four other Union City rushers have gained more than 100 yards through the season’s first four weeks.
Statistically, that’s bad news for the Rebels, who are giving up 8.5 yards-per-run and 297 yards-per-game. OC’s defensive struggles are further illustrated in that it is giving up 418 yards a game on average and just a shade (49.3) under 50 points-per-game.
On the flip side, Central (0-4) is expected to hang its hat on a passing game — a facet Union City has struggled some against defensively in three of the season’s first four weeks.
The Rebels have thrown for 192 yards-per-game, quarterback Jackson Yeager hitting on nearly 55 percent of his tosses with seven scoring passes. Patrick Haskins (22 catches, 331 yards, 5 TDs) has been his most frequent receiver, while Jacques Williams (10-119) is a threat and both Hunter Calhoun and Lucas Fulbright have caught touchdown passes.
That aerial prowess is of particular concern to the Union City defense that has surrendered 150 yards or more to three of its first four opponents.
The opposition is averaging 190 passing yards-per-game against the Twister unit with five touchdown passes. UC has not intercepted a pass yet this season.
Tornado head coach Darren Bowling said he relished the challenge of seeing if his team had improved in defending the pass.
“We’ve got to get better in that area. The best way I know how is to play somebody who throws it well and see if we’ve made strides from the Lake County game,” said Bowling, one of just two head coaches to have piloted both the UC and OC programs.
“It’s a huge challenge for us, but I know we could see teams down the road who have a similar philosophy and we need to work against it. We’ve got to make adjustments and find what works for us.”
Obion Central skipper Shawn Jackson says he’s sure the Tornadoes have made strides since surrendering 413 yards against LC in Week 2.
“They’re good coaches up there, and they’ll get it fixed,” the Rebel head man claimed. “In fact, I saw on film that they were much better against McKenzie. They had two or three plays that were basically busted tackles, and they didn’t throw it that well otherwise.
Jackson said he’s more concerned with his team balancing its offensive ledger with a running game than anything else.
“We’ve gotta run the ball better,” he stated. “We’ve not had a 100-yard game yet and, if we could rush for 150 or so, it’d really complement what we do throwing.”
• DEVILS’ NEW ROLE — South Fulton is relishing in a role it hasn’t been in since 2004.
For starters, the Red Devils are 4-0 as they were in the aforementioned season.
However, the most telling sign of improvement for the program that went 2-18 over the previous two seasons could be the fact that they were actually favored coming into their 32-7 Region 7-1A thrashing of Bruceton last week.
“You know, that was the first time we weren’t the underdog and it felt good,” first-year SF mentor Kelly Spivey said. “Now, I have to wonder how the team will react to success. But I am very satisfied as it was the first game where I actually could relax at halftime.”
Indeed, Spivey was in a position where he could kick back at the intermission and enjoy his team’s 26-0 advantage.
The future, though, may have few such moments.
After this week’s meeting against Fulton County at Hickman, the Red Devils begin their push to the playoffs with Greenfield, Union City, Lake County, Gleason and McKenzie remaining on their schedule.
“I can think of no better position to be in than where we are now,” Spivey told his team in the huddle following the victory. “We’re where we wanted to be and where no one thought we could be and that’s undefeated and in the mix for a playoff spot.”

Leave a Comment