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UC looks like … UC in scrimmage win

UC looks like … UC in scrimmage win
UC looks like ... UC in scrimmage win | UC looks like ... UC in scrimmage win
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Union City’s final dress rehearsal before beginning the 2012 campaign looked a lot like the Tornadoes in mid-season form.
Rushing the ball on each of its 25 snaps, UC ran for 170 yards in two quarters of play and got two touchdown scampers from Tymaine Strickland to outscore West Carroll 14-7 in the Huntingdon Quarterback Club Jamboree Friday night at Paul Ward Stadium.
The Twisters used their trademark midline offense — pounding fullback Keylon Hyde at the center of the WC defense on more than half their plays — to score on two of their three possessions and threaten on the other.
Hyde rushed 13 times for 65 yards, while Strickland took an option pitch from quarterback Travis Rutland and dashed 25 yards to paydirt, then scored from four yards out on a sweep with just 40 seconds to go for the deciding margin in the scrimmage-type workout.
The final TD capped a patented UC drive that took 14 plays, covered 70 yards and ate up almost nine minutes off the clock.
Union City, which opens its season Friday night by hosting county-rival Obion Central, did not attempt a pass in the two quarters of action against the War Eagles.
“It was a good workout and a good test against a pretty good football team,” said Tornado head coach Darren Bowling, whose team saw its season end last year vs. WC in a one-point quarterfinal playoff loss.
“We were very vanilla in what we did on offense, but I thought it was as competitive a situation as we’ve had in the preseason. I was impressed with West Carroll.”
The coach was particularly pleased his offense had just one penalty, no turnovers and put together its impressive aforementioned sustained march.
“One of the things I wanted to see was us grind it out on a drive,” Bowling said. “We broke a couple of long ones against McKenzie when we scrimmaged them, but I wanted us to have to piece together a long drive of four- and five-yard gains to reach the endzone.
“And I was really happy that we took care of the football and didn’t have a bunch of foolish penalties that shut down our drives.”
Defensively, UC allowed the War Eagles to drive 70 yards for a TD on their second possession — a mark that was aided by a holding call in the secondary on a 3rd-and-7.
The Twisters, who gave up just 98 yards all totaled, then survived a shaky final two plays in the defensive backfield before Iroa Smith batted down two passes in the endzone to turn away West Carroll’s bid to tie or win the scrimmage.
“We just have to relax and make plays in those situations, just make simple catches like we’re capable of,” Bowling added.
WC’s touchdown came on a 14-yard pass in the left flat from Jamal Glenn to Robert Reynolds on a 4th-and-3 play.
Strickland finished with 52 yards on just four carries, while Rutland totaled 35 yards on four rushes for Union City, which recorded 10 first downs.
Case Cook booted both PATs for the Twisters.
The Tornadoes did not dress speedy Khiry Lewis for the second straight scrimmage due to a knee injury suffered in preseason camp. Lewis is expected to be a go for Friday’s season-opener vs. OC.
In other jamboree results, the host Mustangs dominated Lake County 21-0, Crockett County topped McKenzie 14-10 and Bruceton blanked Perry County 13-0.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 8.13.12

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