McCray leads Union past Graham

George Thwaites • Nov 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — Union only packed the Bear essentials for Saturday’s first-time visit to Mitchell Stadium. In the end, it was enough to get the job done.Running back Jake McCray scored fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 6 and 24 yards to lift Union to a 34-26 win over Graham in the opening round of the VHSL Group A, Division 2 West Section football playoffs Saturday night.“We started realizing how much this meant to us. We didn’t change anything. We just started blocking better and running harder, ” said McCray, who led the Bears (8-3) with 184 yards rushing on the night.After trailing 13-10 at the half, the G-Men (7-4) came alive behind an electrifying performance from quarterback Spencer Sheets. The 5-foot-8, 144-pound senior scrambled for 115 of his 124 yards in the final two quarters, also passing for 130 second-half yards, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Colby Hill that cut Union’s lead to 27-20 in the fourth quarter.Beyond that, Sheets’ 1-yard scoring sneak as the game ended marked the only other points he was able to put on the board after halftime.

The G-Men were flagged 10 times for 115 yards. A lot of the penalties, however, were personal fouls that resulted from Graham players’ apparent attempts to overcompensate for Union’s edge in physicality.It got more evident as the game wore on. A Graham player was ejected for fighting after a late (and critical) onside kick attempt that devolved into near-bedlam and forced officials to temporarily clear the field. The G-Men trailed by only a TD at the time, but the flurry of flags that resulted shortened the field for McCray’s game-winning score.The Bears were rewarded for keeping their collective cool.For complete coverage of the game, see the Nov. 11 edition of the Times-News.

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