Twisters light up Jackets

Twisters light up Jackets
Twisters light up Jackets

Union City’s Chris Boucher forces a fumble during Friday’s win.
The green light came on for Union City in the second half and Greenfield’s hope of an upset was stopped in its tracks.
The Twisters, who held a slim 27-21 margin at halftime, reeled off 29 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to put away their District 14A foe and claim a 56-21 triumph in their homecoming game.
“I’m pleased with how we carried out our game plan in the second half,” UC skipper Darren Bowling said. “I thought in the first half, we jumped on them quickly, but a couple holes in our defense that they exposed and penalties gave them a few opportunities, which they capitalized on.
“In the second half, we played what I call Union City football by pounding it on the ground and keeping their offense off the field. That, in turn, may have frustrated Greenfield a little and created a sense of urgency when they got back out there, leading to an interception.”
UC fullback Keylon Hyde was a big part of that ground game with 220 yards and three touchdowns on the evening.
For the season, Hyde has run for over 100 yards in a game on four occasions and for more than 200 yards twice.
Additionally, junior running back DeAndrez Williams did his part with 98 yards and a rushing touchdown. Williams also returned a kickoff 95 yards for a Union City score.
The Twister defense also played a large role in Friday’s victory, forcing four fumbles and recovering each G’field drop.
Three of those fumbles came during the first 11⁄2 minutes, resulting in 14 Union City points.
Hyde recovered the first fumble and returned it 28 yards to the Yellowjacket two-yard line.
From there, Chase Bowling dove in on a two-yard keeper to put the Golden Tornadoes (3-3, 1-1 in 14A) up 7-0 after Victor Panetta booted the point-after with just 25 seconds gone in the first quarter.
After a pair of Greenfield passes fell incomplete on its next drive, Hyde forced a fumble on third down with a bruising hit on quarterback Dalton Potts and Trey Maddox picked up the loose pigskin, returning it to the one before he was taken down.
Once again, UC needed just one play to cash in as Hyde plowed his way to paydirt to put the locals ahead 14-0 — after another Panetta boot — with 11:03 remaining in the first quarter.
Just 30 seconds later, Union City’s Chris Boucher forced another fumble on a bone-jarring hit to Potts, but the Twisters were unable to gain any points from that turnover. Michael Dysart picked up that fumble.
Though down by 14 points and against the defending Class A state champion, Greenfield (2-4, 1-2 in 14A) gave a spirited effort for the remainder of the first half, scoring three touchdowns and finishing behind by just six points at halftime.
The first Yellowjacket six-pointer came on a gimmicky reverse pass play where wide receiver Tyler Jones found Christian McAlister for a 22-yard touchdown connection with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter.
The other two Yellowjacket TDs were of the rushing nature as Kadeem McDonald made carries of 12 and 13 yards to the endzone.
In the second half, it was all Union City as the host team limited Greenfield to just 17 yards of total offense.
Williams had a four-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to put UC up by two possessions with 2:21 remaining in the third quarter.
Also in the third quarter, Tymaine Strickland went around end for a three-yard score after Travis Rutland picked off a Potts aerial thanks to a Benjamin White deflection.
Hyde dashed 51 yards up the middle for another Tornado score in the fourth quarter and Keontre Murrell took in the final touchdown for the victors — a four-yard carry — to cap the scoring summary.
Defensively, Maddox topped the Twister tackle chart with eight stops (two for a loss.) Dysart finished with six takedowns — a sack and one tackle for a loss included — as did Kelly Scales.
Union City travels to Humboldt this Friday.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at

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