Dezmond Faison had 22 carries for 89 yards, and Dustin Alphin and Hagan Thornton had 5 and 3 tackles respectively as the Union football season came to an end at the hands of the top-ranked, undefeated James Kenan Tigers. The game was played at James Kenan in round one of the NCHSAA playoffs.
James Kenan scored on their first 5 possessions, and then scored on their 7th to take a 42-0 lead into halftime. The Tiger defense was hit in the mouth on Union’s first play from scrimmage as Dezmond Faison took an outside hand-off down the right sideline for a 51 yard rush, but then took the game over. As indicated in the final score, Union would never cross the goal line.
The Tigers were lead by quarterback T.J. Fulton and NC State commit Marcelius Sutton. Fulton’s passing ability ripped apart the Spartan secondary, and Marcelius Sutton would seemingly break away from the defense at will. The Tigers showed why they are undefeated and a favorite throughout the NCHSAA Playoffs.
Union would show glimpses of life at times, as they would move the ball down the field, and then turn the ball over on downs in or around the red zone. Union played much better in the second half, forcing turnovers and making more defensive plays. Zach Hopkins, Terrence Parker, and Tamah Chesnutt each had fumble recoveries for the Spartans.
James Kenan had over 500 total yards in the game, and held Union to 170. Union had just 61 yards of total offense in the first half against the Tiger starters.
Union’s Head Coach Doug Burley stated after the game that simply “the better team won, no question about it”. Burley stated that he had a good group of kids this year, and he was pleased with the way they handled adversity throughout what turned out to be a difficult season.
Union finishes the year with a 3-9 record, while James Kenan will host Princeton, No. 1 and No.2 in the Carolina Conference, next week who also won their playoff opener in convincing fashion.