One bad game doesn’t spoil good season for Jr. Twisters

One bad game doesn’t spoil good season for Jr. Twisters
One bad game doesn’t spoil good season for Jr. Twisters | One bad game doesn’t spoil good season for Jr. Twisters

By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
A 58-14 loss to Lanier out of Memphis in Saturday’s West Sectional championship game did nothing to diminish the pride Union City Middle School head coach Bobby Williams had in his squad.
“These kids have come a long way, probably farther than any group I’ve ever had,” said the veteran skipper after the Golden Tornadoes were overwhelmed by the physically-superior visitors. “I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The setback spoiled UC’s unbeaten season after nine victories, while Lanier ended its 2012 with a perfect 12-0 mark.
Things started well enough for the Twisters in Saturday’s matchup with Cooper Hurt throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kalab Dowell to cap a scoring drive covering 56 yards that also included a 27-yard run by Taeshawn Allen.
Union City’s fortunes went immediately downhill after taking that 6-0 lead, however, as the Lions exploded for 50 unanswered points and then showed questionable class by throwing a long TD pass with their starters against Tornado reserves with less than a minute to play.
Both big and fast, Lanier had scoring runs of 35, 21, 80, 36 and 36 yards by five different players and also returned a fumble 24 yards to paydirt. At one point, the visitors scored on four consecutive plays.
Running back/linebacker Vontavious Thacker was among the most impressive Lion players, running 80 yards for one TD, taking three two-point conversions in and also making a tackle in the endzone for a safety.
He was named the defensive player of the game, while running back Micah McGee (106 rushing yards, one TD) was chosen the top offensive performer.
Union City’s other score came on an 83-yard sprint by Jeremy Bumpus with four minutes to play. Allen tacked on the conversion.
“They were a very physical football team, and we obviously haven’t seen that type of athletic ability all season,” Williams continued. “I felt pretty good after we scored on our first possession, but when they got the ball that first time, I knew we were in for a long day.
“I did think we played a little harder in the second half and showed some heart.”
The title game appearance matched Union City’s best-ever season, the Twisters also losing to American Way in 2004.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 10.29.12

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