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Weary UC takes lumps in Week 1

Weary UC takes lumps in Week 1

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
If playing top-flight competition is a way to improve, Union City took two giant steps in that direction on Thursday.
The Tornadoes concluded four days of camp in Columbia with a pair of scrimmages against heralded competition in a grueling test that ended their first week in full pads.
UC left Columbia and stopped in Linden on the way home to work with Perry County, a team ranked in the Top 5 in most Class 1A preseason polls and featuring 2010 Mr. Football finalist Jacob Tucker who totaled nearly 4,700 yards and 56 touchdowns last year.
Though no official score was reported, nor kept, the Twisters were said to be handled by PC in a session that lasted a little over two hours in the heat that saw Union City fullback Keylon Hyde require medical attention at a nearby hospital due to dehydration.
Union City then headed for home and — after incurring a flat tire on its equipment trailer that delayed the team’s arrival for nearly an hour — found Class 5A Brighton waiting for another scheduled scrimmage.
The Cardinals, with 18 starters returning from last season’s 9-2 squad and picked as the District 13AA favorite again this season, scored on two of their first three offensive plays and went on to easily handle a fatigued Tornado bunch seven-touchdowns-to-one.
UC’s only score came on a 40-yard option pitch from quarterback Travis Rutland to Khiry Lewis, the latter of whom transferred from South Fulton last month after starting two seasons with the Red Devils.
Brighton quarterback Brady Stewart, who is stepping in for all-stater Danny Potter, threw four touchdown passes — most short tosses to receivers who turned those aerials into long gainers by either missed or sloppy Union City tackles.
Hyde, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards last season as a sophomore, sat out the second scrimmage.
Union City will scrimmage again at home on Tuesday against McKenzie.
The Twisters will then participate in the annual Huntingdon QB Club Jamboree on Aug. 12, facing Bruceton, in two quarters of play.
Obion County’s other two entries will scrimmage tonight — Obion Central hosting Henry County and South Fulton playing at Gibson County.
Both sessions are slated to begin at 7.
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Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 8.5.11

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