|History on Tornadoes’ side |
|Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008 5:17 pm |
|Union City is hoping history repeats itself in more ways than one. |
First and foremost, the eighth-ranked Tornadoes are aspiring for a similar result as the last time they welcomed Halls to War Memorial Stadium for a Class A playoff game — a 54-7 UC blowout of the Tigers in 2005.
The Twisters went on to the BlueCross Bowl State championship game that season, eventually losing to Trousdale County 52-16.
First-year UCHS head coach Darren Bowling is also hoping to continue his trend of never losing a first round state playoff game.
Bowling was perfect in such scenarios at Greenwood Christian Academy and Indianola Academy in Mississippi, and was on the winning side at both Obion Central in 2003 and Dyersburg last season as those respective programs advanced to Round 2.
Union City will also be looking to repeat its past postseason success at home, having won 11 straight playoff games on their own turf dating back to 1998. The Twisters last lost at War Memorial Stadium in a do-or-die situation in the Class 2A semifinals when they were shut out by Milan 10-0.
One occurrence the Tornadoes are not interested in repeating is their playoff showings of the past two seasons, both blowout losses to Jackson Christian School (35-7) and Trinity Christian Academy (42-0), respectively.
NOT ALL GOOD — Turnovers and penalties have been issues for Union City throughout most of the season.
The Tornadoes seem to be making strides in one of those categories, but not both.
Though still a minus-four in the takeaway/giveaway department with 19 turnovers in all, the locals have lost just three fumbles over the last three games combined. UC has not been intercepted on six pass attempts during that time.
The same improvement has not been evident in the penalty department.
Union City continues to be undisciplined to some degree, flagged 26 times for 232 yards during its previous three outings. For the season, the Tornadoes have been penalized 74 times for 623 yards.
By contrast, UC opponents have been whistled for penalties roughly half as much — 37 flags for 291 yards.
THIS AND THAT — Union City is 26-16 all-time in playoff games, having appeared in the TSSAA postseason chase in 16 different seasons heading into Friday’s contest. The Twisters have advanced past the first round on 12 occasions. UC has played 25 different teams in the playoffs, its largest victory margin a 62-8 hammering of Booker T. Washington in a first round game in 1999. …Halls is 8-15 in career playoff games. The Tigers have dropped first round matchups in each of their last five postseason appearances. The 47-point losing margin vs. UC in 2005 is Halls’ biggest ever. …Union City kicker Peter Wilkes made 9-of-9 extra-points in last week’s 63-22 romp over Gleason and has made 26 of his last 27 PATs. Wilkes, who also regularly boots kickoffs into the endzone for touchbacks, has 44 successful conversions for the season and ranks second on the team in scoring behind Colton Speed’s 158 points.