|West title next target for perfect Tornadoes |
|Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2012 12:39 am |
The Union City Middle School football team is just one win away from a ‘Perfect 10.’
It took a ‘Perfect 9’ to get there.
Playing what head coach Bobby Williams called “one of the best middle school games I’ve ever been involved with,” the Tornadoes earned a spot in the TMSAA West Sectional Championship game with a thrilling 28-22 victory over Paris Inman Tuesday night at Barton Field.
The triumph kept UC’s record unblemished through nine games and propelled the Twisters into Saturday’s title tilt at War Memorial Stadium, where they’ll face Lanier of Memphis at 1 p.m.
The sectional championship is awarded in each of Tennessee’s three grand divisions and is the top prize for middle school programs.
Union City has advanced this far just once before, losing to American Way in the sectional championship in Memphis in 2004 — the only setback in an otherwise sparkling 11-1 campaign. Like this year, the Tornadoes beat Inman (44-30) in the semifinals.
Tuesday’s triumph on the Henry Countians’ turf was made even more impressive by the fact that PI (4-3) had easily handled the locals in a scrimmage back in the spring, according to Williams.
“We’ve obviously come a long way,” the UC coach said. “We didn’t have Jeremy Bumpus in the spring because his dad had moved off to Kansas City for a job, but he moved back and that was obviously a bonus for us.
Bumpus ran for a game-high 168 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries as part of a Tornado ground attack that produced 366 yards.
Taeshawn Allen racked up 108 yards and three TDs on just nine attempts, while fullback Jalen Crumble broke free for 90 yards on just six touches while running an effective trap play.
Union City never trailed in the contest, leading 8-0 after one quarter, 20-16 at halftime and 28-16 with three periods in the book.
Allen’s 10-yard scoring jaunt followed by Bumpus’ two-point conversion carry put the Twisters up 8-0 and was the only first-quarter score.
Bumpus had a three-yard TD and Allen a 28-yarder in the second frame, with Allen scoring again from the 10 and Bumpus adding the conversion in the third period to wrap up UC’s scoring.
Allen had one of the biggest plays that did not produce points for the Purple and Gold when he ran 36 yards for a first down on a 3rd-and-9 snap that gave his team a first down that allowed it to run out the clock with less than two minutes to play.
Bumpus and Allen also shined defensively, with nine tackles apiece for the Tornadoes. Ashton Webb was credited with five stops, while Crumble had four. Tucker Kennedy came up with a pair of critical fumble recoveries as Union City won the turnover battle 2-1.
“There was a great crowd and just a tremendous atmosphere for the game,” Williams added. “I’d told the kids beforehand that we’d have to play four quarters and we did. I told them it’d come down to blocking and tackling — like all football games do — and we did a good job in those areas.”
Trey Rutherford’s 90-yard kickoff return, Darren Russell’s 10-yard run and Knox Davis’ 36-yard scamper accounted for Paris Inman’s touchdowns. Bradley Nored converted a pair of two-point plays.
Published in The Messenger 10.24.12