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Union County experienced many growing pains in their season opener, falling on the road at Hatley, 53-12, Friday night.
The Tigers’ rushing game caused problems all night for the Union County defense, accounting for all of their touchdowns. Gradon Pannell scored the first touchdown of the season for UC in the second quarter, making it 15-6, and Broderick Montgomery added the second score late in the fourth.
“The positives were that our offense ran well all night, but we stopped ourselves,” UC Head Coach Scott Duley said. “We had at least one big offensive penalty on every possession, and you cannot score points and win football games if you have a penalty on every offensive possession.”
Seven different Tigers reached the end zone, and Hatley connected on four two-point conversions. Despite the downfalls defensively, Duley credits his team for their effort throughout the game.
“Defensively we did not look very good, but they played hard, and that’s a positive,” Duley said. “The kids played hard, and I told them that no matter what the score was we played hard.”
Union County will have two weeks to prepare for their next game against Biggersville, and Duley feels the extra time off will benefit his team in their home opener.
“What they were not ready for, what they did not understand is that they were going to be hurting. By the end of the night, I had maybe three starters left on defense, and I had my linemen left on offense, so all of my starting skill position players and several other folks were on the sidelines with injuries or with cramps,” he said. “Two weeks will be good for us because we’ll have to get healed up.”