UC no weakling despite TCA loss

UC no weakling despite TCA loss
UC no weakling despite TCA loss

Union City’s Trey Maddox gets in the face of TCA’s Jabriel Washington.
“What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”
Though cliché, those were the philosophical words of Union City head coach Darren Bowling after his team’s 21-15 defeat to Trinity Christian Academy on Friday evening.
For the Twisters, it was their second straight defeat of less than a touchdown. Last week, Union City dropped a 19-14 decision to county rival Obion Central.
It’s also of note that all three of UC’s downfalls this season have been decided by less than seven points and against 2A — for the playoffs — or larger opposition.
“We stuck around and beat them everywhere except where it counted,” Bowling, whose team outgained TCA 375-200 in the total offense category, said. “I thought we played hard and more cohesive as a team.
“Give TCA credit, though. Their team was better on the plays that mattered and they have one particular athlete who is outstanding.”
That particular athlete is quarterback/defensive back Jabriel Washington, who has verbally committed to defending national champion Alabama.
On Friday, Washington offered a near repeat performance from last year’s game against Union City, totaling 333 all-purpose yards (as compared to 343 a year ago) and having a hand in all of TCA’s scores against the Tornadoes for the second straight campaign.
Washington ran for a four-yard touchdown, connected with Blake Spurgeon on a 25-yard scoring connection and returned a fumble 70 yards for six points.
“He’s a great player and I’d like to watch him play against someone else,” Bowling joked.
The Twisters, who trailed 14-9, appeared to be on the verge of regaining the lead in the third quarter.
After UC stopped Trinity Christian (3-2) on a fourth-and-two at the Twisters’ 11, the locals began a march into enemy territory.
All totaled, Union City (2-3) moved the pigskin 75 yards on the drive, eventually electing to go for it on a fourth-and-eight — which was set up thanks to an untimely false start penalty a down earlier on third-and-three — from the Lion 18-yard-line.
Disaster struck for UC as Trinity Christian made contact with quarterback Chase Bowling just as he was pitching to DeAndrez Williams. The result was the aforementioned fumble that was scooped up by Washington and taken 70 yards to paydirt.
“That’s the difference in the game right there,” Bowling said. “We went from where I felt like we were able to score to being two touchdowns behind. It carried over into our next drive where we came out flat and played upset and with too much emotion.”
On Friday evening, the Twisters scored the game’s first nine points — the first two tallies of which came due to a bad snap to TCA punter Dylan Yates.
Yates rushed back to the football after it flew over his head and kicked it through the endzone to stamp out any opportunity UC may have had of recovering it for six points, forcing the locals to settle for a safety.
Then, Union City took further advantage of the Lions’ miscue after the free kick as Tymaine Strickland capped a 44-yard drive with a three-yard carry across the goalline.
During said march, Williams, who finished with 134 rushing yards on 15 carries, caught a 19-yard aerial from Bowling, while Keylon Hyde — who totaled 115 yards on the ground — had his number called three times for 16 yards.
Bowling accounted for Union City’s second and final touchdown of the evening — a three-yarder in the fourth quarter with 3:47 remaining.
After Bowling’s score, the Twisters battled valiantly to force a TCA three-and-out and drove to the visitors’ 27 before Washington picked off a pass that was intended for Williams.
Defensively, Trey Maddox topped the Union City tackle chart with six stops — a sack and one takedown for a loss included. Additionally, Brett Gore was in on four tackles, while Michael Dysart and Kelly Scales each sacked Washington on one occasion.
Union City celebrates homecoming this week against Greenfield, while the Lions host Adamsville.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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