After being rained out on Friday, the Union Spartans welcomed the Trask Titans to Spartan Town on a rare Monday night game. The Spartans went into the game undefeated while the Titans only had just one loss. The Spartans jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but the Titans scored at the end of the first half and rode the momentum in the second half to take a 28-21 win.
Down 21-0, the Titans would get great field position in the closing minutes of the second half and scored a touchdown with 19.7 seconds remaining, closing the gap to 21-6 as the half ended. The Titans would come out on fire in the second half scoring just 15 seconds into the third quarter and again with 6:48 remaining in the third quarter on the way to the victory.
Neither team could get any offense flowing in the first half, until Union heated up in the second quarter when they began play on their own 23-yard line.
Malik Williams had a huge play on third down picking up 38 yards. Later in the drive, Trey Underwood picked up 27 yards on a reverse to get the Spartans within the Titan 13-yard line. Donovan Hayes then jetted into the end zone from 11 yards out for the Union score. The PAT by Dalton Young was successful, giving the Spartans a 7-0 lead with 10:29 left in the first half.
After two series, the Spartans would add to their lead. On the first play from the Titan 38-yard line, quarterback Nadir Goodwin found a wide open Warren Gay for a 23-yard catch. Later in the drive on fourth-and-7 from the 12, Goodman connected again with Gay for the touchdown. The PAT by Young was good giving the Spartans a 14-0 lead with 2:39 left in the first half.
The Spartans put together a 33-yard drive for their next score. Underwood picked up 27 yards on the ground to get within the Trask 4-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Tyler Murphy plowed through the line for the score. Young’s third kick of the night was good, putting the Spartans up 21-0.
On the kickoff, Union tried a squib kick but was short on it, allowing the Titans to get great field position on the Union 35-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Tyrease Armstrong found a wide open Ray Barnett for a 35-yard touchdown. The PAT was blocked and the Titans were back in the game, trailing 21-6 at the half.
Rejuvenated, the Titans came out ready to play in the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Armstrong struck again, this time hitting B.J. Jones for a 41-yard reception with 11:44 left in the third quarter, The conversion run by Jones was good and the Titans closed the lead to 21-14.
The Titans found again themselves in great field position on the Union 23-yard line starting their next drive. It took just one play from scrimmage when Armstrong scampered 23 yards for another Titan touchdown. The conversion run was good by Jones, giving the Titans a 22-21 lead.
The Spartans started play on the 35-yard line, but were stopped on fourth-and-15 from the 32. The Titans then took over possession of the football. Armstrong would score once more from the 3, but the Spartans would hold the Titans on the two-point conversion, which made the score within a touchdown 28-21 with 39 seconds remaining in the game.
The Spartans’ last possession was halted by two intentional grounding calls, each bringing a loss of down. A final pass was caught by Ty Travers, but he was tackled at midfield as the clock ran out.
Coach Doug Burley said the team made too many mistakes the entire night and shouldered some of the blame.
“The Titans have a good team and are well coached,” noted Burley. “Hats off to them.”
The loss gives the Spartans a 5-1 overall record and a 1-1 record in the Four County Conference. They will travel to Wallace on Friday night to take on the Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Melony Henderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org