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September 27, 2013
Prior to a Week 3 matchup with Greer, Union County Head Coach Steve Taneyhill stressed to his team the importance of securing a win before entering the region portion of the schedule. His Yellow Jackets (then 0-2) went on to drop a tough loss to Greer and things didn't get any easier the following week. Fairfield Central, the second-ranked team in Class 2A, destroyed the Jackets on their home field, 35-11. Tonight, Union County has one last chance to put one in the win column before its first Region III-AAA meeting. The bad news for UC: Newberry is undefeated. The good news for UC: The first four games on Newberry's schedule were not exactly marquee matchups.
This could be a confidence-building opportunity for the Jackets and with Woodruff on deck, Union County needs to find some momentum, fast.
Last week, the Jackets were flat on offense and turned the ball over four times on interceptions. Sophomore QB Dierrus Smith made his first appearance on a varsity scene in the fourth quarter. He scored Union County's lone touchdown and then ran in the two-point conversion. Regardless of who takes the snaps - Smith, senior Ben Beck or senior Matt Barnett - the Jackets have to be able to move the ball on offense. Multiple QB's rarely work for a team and if Union County is going to win ball games, it has to be able to depend on one guy to take the snaps and get it done.
There are talented wide-receivers on the field including freshman phenom Shi Smith and senior Jordan Spencer. Louisville-committed T.J. Foster has been limited recently due to an injury but if he's available tonight he's gonna need a QB who is capable of putting the ball in his hands.
The defense has had its hands full for four straight weeks. Reducing offensive turnovers and extending drives would go a long way to lighten Union County's defensive load.
The offensive line opened up some holes for running back Christian Petty last week but the exterior linemen have to provide better pass protection and the QBs have to relax in the pocket and allow the plays to develop.
The bottom line is this - Union County's best shot at turning things around will come when and if somebody steps up and leads the offense. Otherwise it could be a long, dismal season.
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