"Flash" carries Union County into playoffs over Williston

Geordyn "Flash" Green ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns in Union County's 28-10 victory over Williston in District 7-1A. The Tigers finished second in the district to reach the playoffs.

Lee Ferinden/Correspondent/File
Published: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 7:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 at 7:20 p.m.

LAKE BUTLER — In backyard football games as a kid, Geordyn “Flash” Green earned his first nickname by mimicking the speed of his favorite superhero around his awed friends.

While Green still has his alias written in purple letters on his pair of Nike cleats, Tigers coach Ronny Pruitt added another moniker Friday night to describe Green after the 5-foot-8 running back rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-10 win over visiting Williston.

“He’s just special,” Pruitt said. “He has a knack for making you miss, and that’s something you can’t really coach. You put him in the right spot, and he makes plays.”

A night after being named homecoming king, Green ripped scoring runs of 33 yards, 21 yards and 48 yards to help third-ranked Union County ensure a District 7-1A runner-up finish and a playoff berth.

Far from playing sidekick to Green’s eight carries, fellow senior Buddy Edwards matched his teammate’s 128 yards on 17 rushes. Holding just a 7-0 lead to start the third quarter, Edwards helped set up Green’s second score by pushing the Tigers into the red zone with five touches for 41 yards on the drive.

“He’s a big bruising back and after a defense takes a lot of bruising from a big guy, a small fast guy comes in and kind of throws him off balance,” Green said. “It worked great tonight.”

Union County quarterback Caleb Cox, who threw for 135 yards on 7-of-13 passing, sealed the Tigers’ win with a 50-yard hookup down the left sideline to Isaiah Johnson, who totaled 90 yards on two receptions, with 6:37 to play.

On defense, the Tigers (8-1, 3-1 District 7-1A) held the Red Devils (6-4, 0-4 District 7-1A) scoreless for nearly three quarters before Jorge Deciderio drilled a 37-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the third quarter. Two possessions later, quarterback Stephen Cochlin found Darien Thompson in the right corner of the end zone for Williston’s lone touchdown.

Though Red Devils senior Keith Neal turned in his own bruising performance with 169 yards on 21 carries, Williston’s offense struggled in short-yardage situations without its 220-pound fullback.

To start the second quarter, the Red Devils missed a chance to tie the game after Green’s first touchdown when they were stopped at the Tigers 1-yard line on fourth-and-goal.

“We had a couple big plays at key times, but procedure calls set us back,” WHS coach Jamie Baker said. “It makes it tough. You can’t make mistakes against a good football team. When you get down to the 1-yard line, you have to be able to stick it.”

Union County, which had penalty issues of its own, was flagged 13 times for 105 yards.

Though Friday’s game was the season finale for Williston, the Tigers will have a final non-district tune-up against Jacksonville Eagle’s View next week at home before the playoffs begin.

“We’ve got some injuries that are starting to heal, and it’s great timing,” Pruitt said. “We need to be 100 percent at this time of the year, but we left a lot of opportunities on the field tonight and we need to rectify that.”

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