Union County upends Fort White
Published: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 1:19 a.m.
FORT WHITE — After close wins in each of the last two weeks, Union County dropped one spot in the Class 1A state rankings, going from No. 1 to No. 2.
While Tigers coach Ronny Pruitt doesn't put a lot of stock in the rankings, he did say that his club was looking for respect on Friday night against Class 3A Fort White.
It is a safe bet to think the Tigers found that in their 28-21 win in a back-and-forth affair with the Indians.
Walter Mabrey rushed for 125 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 13 carries as Union County (5-0) outlasted Fort White (3-2). The Tigers, who attempted just one pass, ran 50 times for 311 yards to win their second straight meeting with the Indians.
“We came out this week and our word was respect. We wanted to come out and get respect,” Pruitt said. “We just want our community and our student body to know that we are going to leave it out there on the field.
“That is what makes me so proud.”
With 9:59 left in the game, Fort White's Tavaris Williams ripped off a 52-yard scoring run to provide the eventual final margin. However, the Union County defense made two big plays late in the game to preserve that lead and escape with the win.
On the ensuing possession, the Indians were on the move and quarterback Andrew Baker was scrambling, his sights set on the end zone with just under 5 minutes left. Baker (17-for-25, 244 yards, 2 TDs, 1 interception) was caught by Union County defenders and as he was fighting for extra yards, the ball popped out at about the 2-yard line and bounced out of the end zone.
The Indians did get the ball back one last time. They ran a hook-and-ladder play in the closing seconds, which resulted in Williams streaking down the sidelines with the ball. But he was dragged down at the 8-yard line to end the game.
Union County led 21-7 after the first quarter, fueled by Mabrey's two touchdowns and a 10-yard fumble return for a score by Dylan Clark. Prince Alexander also had a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Daquin Edwards had 132 rushing yards on 23 carries for the Tigers, who were also plagued by 130 penalty yards.
Melton Sanders caught four passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns for Fort White. Williams ended with 85 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries for the Indians.