Game Day

Game Day
Union City @ West Carroll

   PLACE, TIME: War Eagle Stadium; 7 p.m.
2011 RECORDS:  Union City 6-6; West Carroll 7-4.
COACHES (RECORDS): Union City: Darren Bowling (140-78 in 18th season); West Carroll: Josh Fronabarger (17-24 in 4th season).
LAST MEETING: 2008. Union City won 55-16.
SERIES RECORD: Union City leads 4-0.
KEY PLAYERS: Union City — RB/LB Keylon Hyde, QB Travis Rutland OL/DL Joseph Shanks, Slot/SS Khiry Lewis, Slot/LB Tymaine Strickland. West Carroll — FB/LB Carson Suite, QB/DB Jamal Glenn, WB/LB Jacob Wynn, SE/LB Robert Reynolds.
  OUTLOOK: After enduring countless key injuries early, a murderous schedule and mistake-prone play traced to inexperience, the Tornadoes have battled back to the break-even mark for the first time this season and into the state quarterfinals. UC rallied from 21 points — the largest postseason comeback in their storied playoff history — to beat Lake County at the Falcons’ Nest in a 42-33 Round 2 thriller that avenged a regular season loss. The bruising Hyde recorded his seventh 100-yard rushing game of the season, gaining 166 of his 174 in the second half, but it was the talents of Lewis that put UC over the top. The speedy South Fulton transfer, who has more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving-wise and another 400 in kick returns, had touchdowns rushing, receiving and on special teams in the rally. Most importantly, the Twisters limited their turnovers to two — both in the fourth quarter — and did not give up huge passing gains or kick plays vs. Lake County. West Carroll beat Gleason convincingly for the second time this season to earn the program’s first-ever state quarterfinal berth with a punishing ground game. Suite went over 1,000 yards for the season with 122 yards and two scores, while Glenn, who has more than 1,000 yards when you count both his rushing and receiving totals, also shattered the century mark rushing with 120 against the Bulldogs. Wynn has accumulated more than 1,000 yards of offense, too, as a wingback and receiver on the rare occasions when the War Eagles pass. WC did not attempt a single pass against Gleason. Union City’s win over LC last week marked the first time the Tornadoes have beaten a team with a record better than .500 this season. Of the Twisters’ six losses, three came to teams that are still involved in Round 3 of the postseason this week. West Carroll has not beaten a team that finished the year with a mark above .500. The winner will play the survivor of the showdown between unbeatens Huntingdon and Wayne County — ranked No. 1 and 2 in the final Associated Press poll — in next week’s Class 1A semifinals.

Dresden @ Westwood

   PLACE, TIME: Crump Stadium; 7 p.m.
2011 RECORDS:  Dresden 10-2; Westwood 7-4.
COACHES (RECORDS):  Dresden: Scott Hewett (92-82 in 16th season); Westwood: Anthony Jones (7-4 in 1st season).
SERIES RECORD — First-ever meeting.
KEY PLAYERS: Dresden — QB Gatlin Hatchel, RB/DBs Colin Kanehl and Devan Raymer, TE/LB Tyler McPeak, LB Ben Kendall. Westwood — QB Jerome Gilkey, WR Randy Chambers, DB Cordorez Jackson.
  OUTLOOK: The eighth-ranked Lions are in the quarterfinals for just the second time ever, the only other such quarterfinal appearance coming 25 years ago in 1986. Dresden’s thrilling 22-21 victory over top-seed and fourth-ranked Humboldt was the end result of a two-point conversion pass from Hatchel to McPeak and the fourth-seeded Lions doing a bang-up defensively against the explosive Viking offense. The Longhorns are in Round 3 for the first time since 1995 and beat Booker T. Washington (14-12) for the second time this season last week to get there. An endzone interception by Jackson, his second pick of the game, with just six seconds left preserved the victory. Westwood had the No. 8-ranked offense in Memphis during the regular season, averaging 336 yards-per-game. Gilkey has thrown for more than 1,500 yards and 15 TDs, while Chambers is his top receiving threat with over 500 yards and six scores. The victor will get the winner of the Adamsville-Riverside game in next week’s Class 2A semifinals. Published in The Messenger 11.18.11

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