Friday night started a bit poorly at the Cougar Den, with blustery, rainy conditions greeting fans as they settled in for York’s game with Union County.
The rains eventually cleared, but the relentless Yellow Jacket red zone attack would not let up so easily. Union County tallied 431 yards of total offense and capitalized on several key opportunities, defeating York 23-13.
The loss dropped York to 0-2, and Cougar coach Bobby Carroll understandably saw some areas for improvement, but also saw some things that made him happy.
“We were down 20-3, and it got to 20-13, and you say, hey man, you can score,” said Carroll. “Then, we gave up a big run by their quarterback. It was going good, and then we gave up a big play.”
That big play to which Carroll referred was a 65-yard run by Union County quarterback Brandon Thompson. The run set up a 26-yard field goal by Blake Johnson, the score that provided the final margin.
York appeared poised to slice the Union County margin to 20-10 late in the second quarter, but a 22-yard touchdown strike was called back due to a penalty. Myles Prosser then drilled a 45-yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-6, though the opportunity for a larger strike loomed large at the time.
“There’s no doubt (it would have made a difference),” Carroll said after the game.
Union County turned two York fumbles into 14 points in the first half. Both fumbles gave the Yellow Jackets the ball deep in Cougar territory, with a two-yard Markevious Glenn run capping a 10-play, 37-yard drive for the first score, and a Thompson 17-yard scoring scramble cashing in the other.
Thompson did it all for the Yellow Jackets, running the zone read with precision. The Union County quarterback carried 15 times for 150 yards, and completed 17-of- 27 throws for 197 yards. The senior recorded a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown.
York running back TyQuan McCray helped shoulder the offensive load for his team, carrying 18 times for 65 yards. Fellow back Paul Moore added 14 carries for 45 yards. Cougar quarterback Shandon Cobb continued his evolution under center, completing 16-of- 23 passes for 126 yards. Cobb also ran 12 times for 73 yards. The Cougar signal-caller drew praise from Carroll after the contest.
“I think he’s done a tremendous job,” said Carroll. “He got inserted at quarterback two weeks ago. He had a great game against Rock Hill, and tonight, we put him in a bind sometimes, but hopefully he’ll continue to get better.”
“Third downs, penalties, field position and turnovers is what rules this game, and we didn’t win any of the four of those tonight. We didn’t win the field position battle, we didn’t win the turnover battle, and we didn’t win third down. We gave up a third-and- 23 one time. That’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’ll come out here Monday and practice and try to get better for next week against Nation Ford.”
York hosts Nation Ford next Friday.
Union County 23, York 13
Union County 14;6;0;3- 23
York 0;3;3;7- 13
UC – Markevious Glenn 2 run (Blake Johnson kick) 7:07
UC – Brandon Thompson 21 pass to Kanaszi Sims (Johnson kick) :57.2
UC – Thompson 17 run (kick failed) 5:07
Y – Myles Prosser 45 field goal 1:53
Y – Prosser 30 field goal 2:58
Y – Shandon Cobb 3 run (Prosser kick) 9:05
UC – Johnson 26 field goal 6:37
RUSHING Union: Deshaun Holmes 19-56; Brandon Thompson 15-150; Markevious Glenn 6-3; Shi Smith 3-25. York: Paul Moore 14-45; TyQuan McCray 18-65; Shandon Cobb 12-73.
PASSING Union: Thompson 17-27-3-197 yards. York: Cobb 16-23-0-126 yards.
RECEIVING Union: Michael Purdie 2-32; Quadric Smith 4-69; Taji Whitemer 1-(-2); Kanaszi Smis 5-44; Doug Brannon 3-16; Smith 3-37. York: Ladarius Allison 7-38; Ethan Mitchell 3-49; Shaq Harris 2-4; Zaye Robbins 2-16; McCray 1-13; Moore 1-6.
RECORDS Union County 2-1, York 0-2.