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Union County saw improvements in their offense, opening up the passing game in their 41-20 setback at Strayhorn Friday night.
UC found themselves down early, 14-8, after two turnovers resulted in touchdowns for Strayhorn. UC responded to the Mustangs first score with a 70-yard Broderick Montgomery touchdown, and Vadale Rucker added two late touchdowns on throws from D.J. Armstrong in the fourth quarter.
“We had big opportunities; we just couldn’t capitalize on what we had,” UC Head Coach Scott Duley said. “We had three fumbles that resulted in touchdowns for the other team, but there were positives we took from this.”
The biggest positive came from Armstrong throwing for UC’s first passing touchdowns of the season, and Duley spoke of the improvement not only of his sophomore signal caller, but also of the offensive line; an area that has hurt his team in previous games.
“D.J. is a young quarterback, and this is his second year to start for us,” Duley said. “We really worked on our passing game this week, focusing on pass protection as well as three or four routes, and it paid off tonight. Strayhorn blitzed nine on just about every play, and we did a good job of protecting him, giving him a chance to deliver the ball. Tonight, he did a very good job of recognizing the open receiver, and he’s gaining confidence because he’s a young man who wants to work hard and do his best; he doesn’t get affected in a bad way.”
Union County was also shorthanded with several starters injured, but despite the losses, Duley was proud of how his team handled the situation.
“We had a couple kids dress out, but they understood that they couldn’t play, and the kids have done very well, all things considered,” he said. “They never got down in practice this week; never complained. They all stepped up and did what they needed to in order to help the team. They did a good job.”
Union County will next take on Benton County on Sept. 30 in their final home game of the season.