09/05/09 — Union defense keeps North Duplin in check

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Union defense keeps North Duplin in check

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 5, 2009 11:06 PM

CALYPSO -- Union's roller-coaster week concluded Friday night with a 30-6 non-conference victory over North Duplin at H.E. Grubbs Field.

Just two days after finding out the team would be forced to forfeit its two wins for using an ineligible player, the Spartans took out their frustration on the Rebels.

After North Duplin fumbled the ball away on the first possession of the game, the Spartans used their first play to reach paydirt. Ron Gay broke around the left side of the line and raced 17 yards into the end zone.

"I don't feel like I did a very good job of getting this team prepared this week," Rebels head coach Hugh Martin said. " Early on we were trying very hard to stick to our assignments, but we kept getting sucked into the middle, and their backs found the running lanes."

Neither team managed much offense during the rest of the first half as penalties and turnovers ended drives for both squads.

In the final minute of the second quarter, Union put together a five-play drive that covered 42 yards on the ground. Antonio Garcia capped the possession with a 38-yard field with 2 seconds left before halftime.

The second half featured more sloppy play, but in between penalties the Spartans found time to break a few big plays. With 2:30 left in the third quarter, Gay found the end zone on a 33-yard scamper.

Larry George made the score 23-0 just 38 seconds later with a 29-yard scoring run.

"They have so much speed in the backfield and they use it effectively," said Martin. "We did a lot of work this week just walking through their offense and trying to diagram where the backs were going."

North Duplin switched gears in the fourth quarter and came out in the spread offense with Marcus Kornegay at quarterback. The change paid off as Kornegay completed three of his first four passes and led the Rebels (1-2 overall) into scoring position.

The junior signal caller tucked the ball and ran into the end zone from three yards out to avoid the shutout.

"We went to the spread just to try to make something happen," said Martin. "We were able to make a couple plays through the air and get on the board."

Kornegay finished with 94 yards passing and six yards on the ground. Freshman fullback Julio Mora led the Rebels' rushing game with 32 yards on 12 carries. Shane Deaver pulled in two catches for 51 yards.

Union (1-2) rushed for 426 yards as a team on 44 carries. Ten different Spartans toted the ball in the wedge-style, triple-option attack led by Gay's 117-yard effort.

North Duplin visits Hobbton on Friday.