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Team roles reversed as Twisters rout Rebs

Team roles reversed as Twisters rout Rebs
Team roles reversed as Twisters rout Rebs | Team roles reversed as Twisters rout Rebs
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Union City essentially did to Obion Central what the Rebels did to the Tornadoes a year ago.
UC dominated OC in basically all facets of Friday’s 40-13 victory at War Memorial Stadium, gaining a measure of revenge for a similar convincing loss last season at Troy.
Regularly attacking the flanks with its superior speed while the Rebs concentrated on the interior and Twister fullback Keylon Hyde, Union City scored on three of its first four possessions and led 33-0 late in the third period before Central tallied twice to avoid the mercy rule.
Tymaine Strickland ran for two touchdowns and was one of three Tornado players to rush for more than 85 yards, while quarterback Travis Rutland was just one yard shy of cracking the century mark with 99 yards on the ground and a TD. Rutland also threw a scoring pass — an 11-yarder to Iroa Smith.
And for all OC’s efforts, Hyde still went over 100 yards rushing — 102 on 22 carries with a one-yard scoring plunge — as UC ended the Rebels’ recent most successful streak in the series that had seen the county locals win seven of the previous 10 meetings.
“They’d kinda put it to us pretty good last year when our quarterback was out, and I guess there was a little revenge in it for our guys,” Tornado head coach Darren Bowling said afterward. “They really loaded up to stop Keylon inside, and that gave us some opportunities on the edge that we were able to capitalize on.
“We’re a year older and more experienced than we were last year, and we’ve got some more kids who we want to spread the ball around to and take the pressure off Keylon. A lot of different guys had touches tonight, and several of them were able to contribute with big plays.”
On the other side, a Rebel squad that lost essentially every offensive playmaker off last year’s nine-win team struggled to generate any consistent ball movement.
OC — which came out in new white helmets and a two tight-end offense instead of its previously-used four-receiver set — didn’t get its initial first down until the waning seconds of the opening quarter. Central’s first scoring drive ended up being only a 13-yard sequence after 51 yards of penalties assessed Union City due to unsportsmanlike conduct and personal foul penalties.
The most obvious bright spot for the Rebels — who gained just 182 total yards to the Twisters’ 386 — was the efforts of sophomore running back Bryce Warner, who ran for 111 yards and both of his team’s scores during a 4:41 span in the second half.
“I saw this coming,” Obion Central head coach Shawn Jackson said. “We got jet-sweeped to death. I thought we did a good job on Keylon and their inside game, but they came out in an empty (backfield) set and played to their other strength. Union City is a good football team.
“And when you can’t make a 3rd-and-1 and a 4th-and-1, you’re in trouble. We couldn’t complete a simple little hitch and some other easy throws. We’ve got to do better in those areas. I thought Bryce played good, but that’s about it.”
Strickland (nine carries, 88 yards) capped UC’s first possession with a three-yard sweep around left end, then darted 42 yards to paydirt over right tackle on a misdirection play to cap the host team’s third series after a Tornado fumble inside the 10 had killed a scoring chance on Union City’s second sequence.
A five-yard sweep around left end by Khiry Lewis (nine rushes, 59 yards) capped the Purple and Gold’s most-sustained drive — a 13-play, 79-yard march — and made it 20-0 at the 5:20 mark of the second period.
The Twisters essentially removed any doubt about the outcome with touchdowns on their two third-quarter possessions, Rutland hitting a wide-open Smith to finish a nine-play, 51-yard sequence, and Hyde bulling his way to paydirt to finish an 11-snap, 46-yard drive to make it 33-0.
The Rebels did show some signs of life then, though, helped greatly by a personal foul and two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties against UC when a mild skirmish broke out following the ensuing kickoff. Another penalty — this one a personal foul for a head shot on a Central receiver — also helped OC’s cause and set the stage for Warner’s first TD, an eight-yard scamper on the final play of the third stanza.
Obion then mounted its best offensive series of the night as sophomore QB Blake Berner completed four passes in an 11-play drive, two to Blake Rudd to highlight an 88-yard scoring march. Another Tornado personal foul gave the Rebs 15 yards in the sequence and 16-yard completion from Berner to Josh Floyd set up Warner’s nine-yard scoring jaunt with 7:19 to play.
Union City then quieted the uprising with its final TD, again striking on the edge with Rutland and several option keepers. The senior signal caller ran 21 yards to paydirt around left end, with freshman Cace Cook nailing his fourth PAT with just under five minutes left to finish the scoring.
“We’ve got some things to clean up: One being the penalties, and the other being the fumbles,” added Bowling, whose club was assessed 90 yards in flags and lost two of five fumbles. “During that stretch where we had the four penalties that helped them score their first touchdown, I think we just were a little high strung. I’ve never believed just one person could get in a fight though.
“Still, good football teams that compete for championships don’t lose their cool and they take care of the football. Those things will be points of emphasis for us this week while we’re getting ready for Wayne County.”
Jackson said he would immediately turn his attention to Ripley — Obion Central’s next opponent.
“This (Union City) was just another game as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never really put a lot of emphasis on it,” the Rebel coach claimed.
“I expect us to start thinking about Ripley immediately. This one’s over and your next game is always your biggest one.”
Defensively for Union City, ????
No tackle chart was submitted by Obion Central.
UC plays at defending Class 1A state champion Wayne County this week, the Wildcats off to a rough start after losing to Moore County 30-0 in Week 0
Central plays its first home game Friday against Ripley, a 61-0 blowout winner over Memphis Northside in its opener.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 8.20.12

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