By KEVIN WEAKS
For Union City, Friday night was about getting back to work.
Write it up in the evaluation as a job well done.
The Golden Tornadoes clocked in on time and clocked out early — with no breaks in between this time — in dismantling Greenfield 56-6 in their District 14A game at Harris Field in Greenfield.
In a game that saw a running clock start late in the second quarter and the fourth period shortened to eight minutes, UC substituted early and often yet still managed to pile up 418 yards — all on the ground — while scoring on eight of their 10 offensive possessions.
“You want to do that because you don’t want to get anybody hurt in a game where they’re just hanging around,” UC head coach Darren Bowling said. “In that situation, you want to go ahead and get those younger guys in who are very deserving of playing in a game for being at practice every day. When we get physical in practice, they get the rough end of the deal. It’s good to go ahead and get the game in control so you can get those ones out and the twos in there.”
Only a fumble and the halftime break could stop the Twisters’ offensive unit. UC’s offense snapped the ball 40 times, including 39 rushing plays.
Union City also had three touchdowns called back on penalties, two on the same drive.
Keylon Hyde led the way with 211 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, while Ricky Henry also scored three times. Seven different players carried the ball, four getting scores, and UC was not stopped behind the line of scrimmage all night.
Greenfield, meanwhile, was limited to 90 total yards on 32 plays, 84 coming through the air as two quarterbacks combined to hit on 5-of-15 passes. UC picked off two passes and also recovered a fumble.
In a very physical game from the Tornadoes’ standpoint, UC roughed up several Yellowjacket players and twice sent starting quarterback Jeffrey Johnson to the bench with injuries.
The punishing style was a by-product of the week’s practice leading up to the game.
Following a 38-22 loss to Huntingdon the week before, a game that dropped Union City from the ranks of the unbeaten and moved the team down from second to sixth in the Associated Press Class 1A state prep poll, Bowling made it clear all week that his team would get back to its roots in preparation for the second half of the season and possible lengthy postseason run.
“That’s what we like to do,” Bowling said. “We knew we had to get more physical, and after last week, we know we have to get tougher if we want to accomplish our goals. That’s why we worked hard this past week to get back to where we came from and to be a tough, hard-nosed football team, not finesse or flashy. And, I thought we were back to those roots.”
UC was certainly the real deal to a Greenfield team that has now lost 15 straight games dating back to 2010.
The Golden Tornadoes scored five times in the first quarter alone, beginning with the second play from scrimmage when Keylon Hyde went 57 yards.
Hyde then picked off a Johnson pass on the Yellowjackets’ first play, and UC was back on the board three plays later when quarterback Travis Rutland kept on an option for nine yards.
UC then forced two punts and recovered a fumble, turning all three into three more scores. Hyde ran in from 20 yards out, Henry had a five-yard burst and Tymaine Strickland had a 17-yard run for a 35-0 lead after one quarter.
Union City’s only mistake came early in the second, Greenfield turning a fumble at the Twister 24 into a three-play scoring drive. Johnson had an eight-yard run at 9:28 to get within 35-6.
UC responded immediately, though, actually scoring three times on the ensuing drive. Hyde’s 76-yard run and Strickland’s 61-yard sprint were both called back on holding penalties, but UC’s third time was charm with Hyde’s two-yard carry.
“Those were both on twos at receiver,” Bowling said of the penalties. “They were blocking and staying on their blocks. Those kinds of things we’ll take as long as they’re hustling and being aggressive. You’re going to get those every once and awhile.”
The second half was over after just 19 total snaps, UC scoring on two of them as Henry scored on a pair of one-yard runs, the first coming as he converted a Khiry Lewis interception and 45-yard return into a score.
UC then had a nice goalline stand at the end of the game stopping Greenfield after the ’Jackets had reached the three on a 49-yard catch-and-run from John David Ricketts to Miles Cavitt.
Cace Cook benefited from UC’s eight TDs with eight point-after kicks.
Published in The Messenger 9.17.12