HomeSportsUSJ completes comeback against Union City

USJ completes comeback against Union City

University School of Jackson’s (2-0) 20-19 win over Union City (1-1) on Friday won’t do much toward getting the Bruins into the Division II-AA playoffs.

But the way the Bruins won felt they proved to themselves and others paying attention to them of their potential for the rest of the season.

“I tell you what, I love this team so much because of the way they fought tonight,” said USJ head coach Derrick Pritchard. “To come back after not playing great, and being down 13-0 in the second half, we just told them to stick with the plan, trust it, and things would go our way.”

It took a little while for the Bruin defense to get used to stopping Union City. The tandem of quarterback Keeton Brown and running back Jacob Arnold was a one-two punch the Tornadoes kept firing at USJ.

The visiting team grinded out a 7-0 lead at halftime and scored again early in the third quarter to go up 13-0.

USJ got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter when Corbin Howard connected with Sam McMillan for a 10-yard score to pull within 13-7.

Union City was driving again when they fumbled, and USJ’s Ben Melton recovered.

“The quarterback was carrying the ball, and I saw the ball hanging out,” Melton said. “So I went in and grabbed it out of his hands.”

It was in the fourth quarter when the Bruins were able to move the ball down the field consistently, and Noah Spencer benefitted from that consistency with a couple of touchdown runs of 42 and 20 yards.

The 42-yarder came early in the fourth to tie the game with Union City.

The 20-yarder came with a little more than three minutes to go after Union City had marched down the field and scored on a four-yard run by Keeton.

But Union City had gone for two and failed, giving USJ a chance to take the lead after Spencer ran for his second score.

USJ kicker Cooper Sikes connected for the USJ lead.

The Tornadoes were marching down the field again and were within field goal range in the final minute, but USJ’s defense, particularly Alex Wallace, had other plans.

Union City fumbled the ball, and Wallace recovered it to give the ball back to USJ and give the Bruins the win.

“I knew the quarterback was going to run it and looked right at him, and he saw me coming,” Wallace said. “And I was coming for it.”

Spencer finished the night with 106 yards on 17 carries with the two scores.

“We had great blocking by the linemen and the receivers,” Spencer said about the blocking for him. “They gave me some wide-open gaps to run through, and this is a great win.”

Stats courtesy of USJ broadcaster Steve Beverly

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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