Union County tops Newberry, 17-6


Published: Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 1, 2010 at 11:46 p.m.

LAKE BUTLER — Union County was looking to bounce back after last week's tough District 2-2B loss to Fort White.

On Friday night against Newberry, a strong defensive effort gave the Tigers the positive result they were in search of after suffering their first defeat of the season.

Union County gave up just 35 yards of offense and limited Newberry to just four first downs en route to a 17-6 win.

Josh Tyson finished with 176 yards rushing and one touchdown on 25 carries as Union County (4-1) snapped its four game losing streak to the Panthers (1-3).

"The defense stuffed them and our two middle linebackers, Kendall Wright and Caleb Dukes, they played an outstanding game," Union County coach Ronny Pruitt said. "We had to go out and play four quarters, that is something I don't think we've quite done. We put it all together, we played four quarters."

The Tigers, who rushed for 237 yards, opened the scoring by taking advantage of a bad snap on a Newberry punt attempt. Union County took over on the Newberry two-yard line and two-plays later quarterback Austin Harden plunged over the goal line from one yard away. The Tigers, who led 7-0 with 1:10 left in the opening quarter, did score again until right before halftime.

With 5.8 seconds remaining and a first-down play from the Newberry 32-yard line, Harden hit Bryan Holmes with a swing pass. The standout receiver, who has several Division-I scholarship offers, was knocked out of bounds at the 14-yard line as time expired. But the Panthers were whistled for a penalty that moved the ball to the seven-yard line and allowed the Tigers one more play.

Carl Alexander, who hit both extra point attempts, kicked a 24-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 10-0 edge at the break.

Tyson's 49-yard touchdown run made it 17-0 with 5:27 left in the third quarter. Newberry avoided the shutout as Chris Gillyard intercepted a Harden pass and raced 70 yards down the sideline with 4:16 left to play.

The Panthers punted five times for the game and their offense had a tough time against the Tigers defensive front. Lonnie Gosha, one of the state's top defensive line prospects, finished with eight tackles.

"Our offense didn't even show up tonight," Newberry coach Tommy Keeler said. "We got beat up front, their defensive line and their linebackers did a great job against us tonight. They shut us down, we couldn't move the ball."

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