Griffins Fall to Union County in Shoot-Out

The Union County Yellowjackets found a defensive stop when they needed one the most and scored the go-ahead touchdown with just under 5 minutes to go in the game to win a back-and-forth seesaw slugfest at Fairfield Central Friday night, 42-40.

The ‘Jackets hung 594 total offensive yards on the Griffins’ defense, but saw 150 yards squandered away on penalties. Still, Union County was able to slip in the winning score on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Keiston Smith to Victor Ruth at the 4:57 mark. The point-after kick by Brandon Shetley gave the ‘Jackets the late lead and put the game into the hands of their defense.

The Griffins had gashed the Union defense all night behind quarterback DeAndre Belton’s 173 rushing yards and four touchdowns and Damian Bell’s 155 yards and a touchdown, and with nearly 5 full minutes to play, there appeared to be every opportunity for Fairfield Central to be the last man standing in the shoot-out. But the Union kickoff pinned the Griffins on their own 20, and penalties and a huge Belton sack forced the Griffins to punt from their own 16. Union County took over on their own 34 with 3:01 remaining and exploded to the Griffin 1-yard line before extinguishing the clock and handing the Griffins their second loss of the 2012 season.

Statistically, the Yellowjackets dominated nearly every facet of the game, amassing 28 first downs and throwing for 287 yards, yet the Griffins trailed only 21-20 at the half and had gone ahead six times throughout the course of the game. The Griffins took their final lead of the game, 40-35, on a 32-yard touchdown run by Belton with 8:46 to go in the game. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, which would prove to be the difference when the clock ran down. The Griffins left three extra points unconverted on the night – one kick and two 2-pointers.

FC  14 – 6 – 14 – 6  40

UC 7 – 14 – 7 – 14  42

First Quarter

FC – D. Bell 12 run. C. Walker kick. (11:31)

UC – K. Smith 4 run. B. Shetley kick. (6:12)

FC – L.G. Bell 1 run. Walker kick. (4:26)

Second Quarter

UC – K. Jones 5 pass from K. Smith. PAT failed. (11:54)

FC – Belton 68 run. Kick failed. (11:25)

UC – T. Davis 16 run. A. Brown 2 pass from Smith. (4:50)

Third Quarter

FC – Belton 1 run. PAT failed. (8:57)

UC – Smith 18 run. Shetley kick. (5:54)

FC – Belton 17 run. K. Workman 2 pass from Walker. (2:13)

Fourth Quarter

UC – Davis 3 run. Shetley kick. (11:00)

FC – Belton 32 run. PAT failed. (8:46)

UC – V. Ruth 39 pass from Smith. Shetley kick. (4:57)

Team Stats

FC                           UC

First Downs        17                           28

Rush/Yards         44-384                   38-307

C-A-I                      3-6-1                      20-36-1

Passing yards     9                              287

Fumbles/Lost    1-1                          0-0

Penalties/Yds.  10-73                     19-150

Individual Stats

RUSHING – FC: D. Belton 16-173. D. Bell 18-155. L.G. Bell 10-56. UC: T. Davis 19-179. A. Brown 8-59. K. Smith 8-49. C. Booker 3-20.

RECEIVING – FC: K. Workman 1-5. D. Bell 1-2. J. Neal 1-2. UC: V. Ruth 9-151. C. Booker 5-43. T. Davis 3-35. T.J. Foster 1-32. K. Jones 2-13.

PASSING – FC: D. Belton 2-5-1 7 yds. C. Walker 1-1-0 2 yds. UC: K. Smith 20-36-1 287 yds. 2 TDs.

Records: FC 0-0/2-2  UC 0-0/2-2