The Union Spartans finally hosted the West Bladen Knights on Monday after the game was moved from Friday due to inclement weather. In a close homecoming game, the Spartans came up short and were defeated by the Knights 28-23.
The first quarter started as an offensive battle for who could control the ball. Shyquan Brunson returned the opening kickoff to midfield for the Spartans. The strong play continued early, when on West Bladen’s first drive, Donovan Hayes forced a fumble.
However, the Knights would go on to score the first touchdown of the night at the 1:24 mark. The score was 8-0, Knights, at the end of the 1st quarter.
The second quarter started out big for the Spartans, when Chris Nash scored a touchdown, which was followed by a two-point conversion at 9:41.
With the score tied at 8-8, Union had taken control of the ball from the Knights, only to be swept away by a West Bladen defensive lineman. Nearing the end of the quarter, Union was able to prevent West Bladen from scoring a first down taking back the possession of the ball. The Spartans then pushed down the field allowing Xavy Laza to kick a field goal.
At the end of the first half, Union led, 11-8.
During halftime Eryka West was crowned as Union High School’s 2015 Homecoming Queen.
West Bladen took possession of the ball at the start of the third quarter. Spartan, Alijuan Johnson-Melvin recovered a fumble giving Union the ball back. At the 7:48 mark, Chris Nash was able to find the end zone again for the Spartans, scoring his second touchdown of the night.
The West Bladen offense immediately came back at the 5:29 mark, scoring a touchdown for the Knights followed by a two-point conversion. At the end of the third quarter the Spartans had the lead only by 1 point, 16-17.
Early in the fourth quarter, West Bladen scored another touchdown, taking the lead, 22-17. Nadir Goodwin was able to rush the ball down the field towards the end zone in the Spartans favor. At 5:35 West Bladen gained possession of the ball after stopping Union from scoring a fourth down.
Union’s Montreal Williams swept the West Bladen punter, tackling him at the 9-yard line at 3:00. Chris Nash managed to move the ball to less than yard from the end zone allowing Dawson Thornton to run the ball for a touchdown. Union took the 1-point lead with 1:35 left in the quarter. However, West Bladen continued to push down the field until they scored the final touchdown of the night with 0:37 left, winning 28-23.
Stats were unavailable from Union at press time.
Coach Burley was still incredibly proud of the Spartan team’s performance tonight. “They left it all on the field, it just didn’t show up on the scoreboard. They are still winners in my eyes and now we have to get ready for the next game,” he said.
The Spartans will travel to take on the Trask Titans this Friday.