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Carrying their coach’s advise of remaining “silent before the storm,” Union County made plenty of noise once their season opening game against Ripley began. UC started the program’s second season with the junior varsity squad defeating the Tigers, 20-0, Tuesday night.
“The boys played with a lot of spunk, and that’s all we ask them to do, play hard and with a high level of intensity and play with excitement,” UC head coach Scott Duley said. “Ripley has great coaches and great athletes, the difference tonight was that we wanted to play and were excited to play. They’ve waited a long time to play football in Union County and they’re excited. We’re happy with the win, but more importantly about the way they played.”
Union County opened the second quarter in the red zone only to be pushed back by two straight penalties. D.J. Armstrong would later find Vadale Rucker for the first touchdown of the game.
Armstrong scored the game’s second touchdown on a keeper in the third quarter, and Broderick Montgomery went in for the extra points, making it 14-0.
The defensive unit held strong, particuarly after the UC offense’s only turnover in the fourth quarter. Ripley took the ball inside the 10 yard line and fumbled with 3:14 remaining. Lawrence Millsaps’ run put the final points on the board for Union County in their win.
“Our offense was tough to defend tonight, and I think that’s probably because we have a quarterback that’s athletic,” Duley said. “He can run the ball and pass the ball, and we have a very big fullback in Chase Bogue. We’ve got a couple tailbacks that can run the ball very well, and we had two long runs by different tailbacks tonight.”
Armstrong was a force on both sides of the ball, as he was apart of two of the game’s touchdowns as well as making a presence on defense.
“Coach has told me to be aggressive when I go out there,” he said. “That’s what I try to do when I’m on both offense and defense.”
“Coach told us to come in and act like the calm before the storm,” Montgomery added. “If they want to talk, let them, and so long as we can get in the huddle and break it down, that’s where we can get hyped. We did that the entire game, and that’s what sparked us.”
Duley said the team has worked hard since starting practice last month and will face several area opponents in both junior varsity and junior high.
“At the beginning, though they did not know the game, they were excited and aggressive,” he said. “If you have those two things, you can work with it. We’re running a very simple offense and defense; we’re not trying to be complex at all, we’re just telling our young men to play as hard as they can.”
Union County (1-0) will take on Potts Camp at Kitchens’ Field next Tuesday, Sept. 14 as well as New albany on Sept. 16.