Johnson’s 3 TDs spark Union’s win over Enterprise

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 18, 2002

UNION – A lot of things contributed to homestanding Union HighSchool’s 41-20 thumping of Enterprise-Lincoln in the first-round ofthe MHSAA Class 1A State football playoffs on Friday night.

Anthony Johnson rushing for 110 first-half yards and scoringthree first-quarter touchdowns certainly didn’t hurt.

Neither did the fact that Enterprise-Lincoln turned the ballover six times.

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But UHS head football coach Brad Breland says it was a play onwhich Union was penalized that may have sent the biggest message tothe visiting Yellow Jackets.

After Union scored its first touchdown midway through the firstquarter, the homestanding Yellow Jackets kicked the ball off on ashort pop up about 25 yards down the field. Just before theEnterprise-Lincoln player fielded the ball, he was knocked hard tothe ground by a pair of Union players.

Union was called for interference on the play, but it wassomething that the Enterprise-Lincoln players couldn’t get out oftheir minds.

“That set the tone,” Breland said. “We try to time that outwhere we don’t get a penalty, but I wasn’t too mad at them forgetting the penalty because it set the tone.”

The visitors would fumble away two of those pooch kicks later inthe game, and wouldn’t get a positive return on a kickoff until thegame was out of reach in the third quarter.

The homestanding Yellowjackets scored on their second possessionof the game, marching 62 yards on just five plays, as Johnsoncovered the last 18 with 8:13 left in the first quarter. QuincyPatrick’s kick made it 7-0.

Johnson would break loose for three first-quarter touchdowns,each of them using his speed to escape from would be tacklers.

“We have got a lot speed and we have some guys who can get onthe corner and take it the distance and we did that tonight,”Breland said. “We were real lucky.”

Union took over at its 50 following a short Enterprise punt andtook just seven play to get into the endzone on a 33-yard run byJohnson. Patrick’s boot made it 14-0 with 3:37 left in the firstquarter.

After Enterprise fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Union went up21-0 on an 8-yard run by Johnson with 1.7 seconds left in the firstquarter. The drive covered 36 yards on seven plays.

“We were real fortunate to jump on them early,” Breland said.”They were a real good football team, but we kind of took them outof the game early.”

Union’s Derrick Harris picked off a pass in the second quarterand returned it 16 yards to the Enterprise 14 midway in the secondquarter.

The home team went up 28-0 four plays later when quarterbackQuincy Patrick lofted a fourth-down pass into the endzone thatHarris gathered in for a 7-yard score.

The next drive was a good one for Enterprise, as they got a goodkickoff return then moved 48 yards on eight plays with GerardVaughn scoring on a 5-yard run with 3:21 left in the half. ScottSasser’s kick made it 28-7, which is where the game stood at thehalf.

Enterprise fumbled away the second-half kick and three playslater Patrick raced in from 34 yards out to make it 34-7 with 10:52left in the third quarter. The kick was short.

The last Union score came on its next possession, afterrecovering yet another Enterprise fumble.

The Yellowjackets marched 64 yards on eight plays with RayHarper scoring on a 1-yard run with 6:29 left in the third quarter.Patrick’s kick made it 41-7.

Enterprise scored 13 fourth-quarter points, with Chase Raifordrunning in from six yards out with 11:54 left in the game andVaughn scoring on a two-yard run.

“Union has a real good team speed,” said Enterprise coach RickyDeere. “They had a good line and good skill people. They executedwell.”

It was the third straight winning season for Deere’sJackets.

The win was the eighth-straight for Union, moving its records to9-3 on the season. UHS pays a visit to Lake next week. The Hornetsbeat Dexter 14-0.