09/05/04 — Prep football -- Princeton falls to Union

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Prep football -- Princeton falls to Union

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 5, 2004 2:00 AM

PRINCETON -- A week ago, the Princeton Bulldogs celebrated their first victory after a winless season in 2003. On Monday they learned they would have to face Friday's game without their quarterback leader Bren Hall, who sustained a sprained neck.

Hall's absence from the field affected the Bulldogs (1-1), who never quite found a rhythm Friday night at home against unbeaten Union, which prevailed 31-10 at the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex.

"I think psychologically us not having (Hall) tonight affected our kids," Princeton coach Joe Mitchell said. "Not only is he one of the smartest kids I've got on the team, but he is also the one that all of our kids look up to the most."

Mitchell added that despite carrying the mental aspect of missing their senior quarterback, the team played hard for junior quarterback Thomas Turnage Friday night.

Turnage met constant defensive harassment from Union, whose relentless pressure up front never allowed Turnage to get comfortable in the pocket. The Spartan defense knocked down a lot of balls at the line of scrimmage and would not give Turnage enough time or space to throw.

At the end of the first half, Turnage found his way through the pressure and completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to senior tailback Keith Johnson. Sophomore kicker Colin Parker converted the first extra point of the night and later kicked a 33-yard field goal for Princeton's final score of the night.

Union's single-wing offense attempted just three passes during the game, but it rushed for 306 yards, including a pair of 70-yard touchdowns from Union senior fullback Alton Smith in the second quarter. Senior running back Shawda Johnson added an eight-yard touchdown run.

Two more Union touchdowns came in the second half -- a three-yard touchdown pass from Johnson to junior Taylor Bullard in the third quarter and an 80-yard touchdown return on an interception by senior Tyler Bass in the fourth quarter.

"I've been coaching 26 years and that's only the third time in my entire career that I've had to go against an offense like that," Mitchell said.

Next week's game against Northside will be another opportunity to learn, and Hall is expected to play in that game.

Union exited 2-0.

Union 0 18 6 7 -- 31

Princeton 0 7 3 0 -- 10

Second quarter

U -- Smith 70 run (kick failed), 11:51

U -- Johnson 8 run (2 pt failed), 3:48

U -- Smith 70 run (kick failed), 1:18

P -- K. Johnson 28 pass from Turnage (Parker kick), 0:00

Third quarter

U -- Bullard 3 pass from Johnson (2 pt failed), 6:57

P -- Parker 33 FG, 1:15

Fourth quarter

U -- Bass 80 int. return (Weeks kick), 9:32

Princeton Union

First downs 10 7

Rushes-yds 40-175 31-306

Pass yds 45 3

Total yds 220 309

Comp-att-int 3-20-3 1-3-0

Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-0

Punts 3-26.3 2-26

Penalities-yds 10-68 10-75


RUSHING -- Princeton -- Johnny Phillips 11-100; Keith Johnson 21-96, TD; Brooks Moore 2-0; Decarius Scarboro 2-(-2); Thomas Turnage 4-(-19). Union -- Shawda Johnson 15-111, TD; Alton Smith 3-142, 2 TD; Dusty Weeks 8-31; Alfred Williams 4-25; Lamont Lamb 1-(-3)

PASSING -- Princeton -- Thomas Turnage 3-20-3 45; Ryan Daughtry 0-1-0 0. Union -- Dusty Weeks 0-1-0-0; Shawda Johnson 1-1-0 3, TD.

RECEIVING -- Princeton -- Patrick Gatewood 1-12, Daniel Gerrell 1-5, Keith Johnson 1-28. Union -- Taylor Bullard 1-3, TD.