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Union mauls Lee in Brawl for the Bucket

Kevin Mays • Oct 6, 2018 at 1:48 AM

BIG STONE GAP — Sometimes numbers don’t mean a thing.

Lee High ran 42 offensive plays in the first half Friday night; Union ran 18. Lee had the ball for more than 17 of the 24 minutes of the opening half.

None of that meant a thing after the Bears posted a resounding 42-7 Mountain 7 District victory over the Generals. 

View the photo gallery from the game

The possession numbers were meaningless primarily because Union’s Avery Jenkins. Three of the Bears’ first-half possessions ended with touchdown runs — of 32, 59 and 71 yards — by Jenkins. The senior speedster’s last two scores came on the first play from scrimmage.

After playing sparingly in the third quarter and not all in the fourth, Jenkins finished with 190 yards and three touchdowns on a mere nine carries for the Bears (5-1, 2-1).

“Avery had the three touchdown runs, and I guess the one on the last play before halftime I think that sort of put us up over the hump,” said Union coach Travis Turner.

PICKING UP THE PACE

All three of Jenkins’ touchdown runs came in the second quarter after a scoreless first.

“We started out really slow. We had to pick it up a little bit to get the momentum going,” Jenkins said. “Once we did, we just kept it going.”

The seniors’ three scores gave his team the momentum in the second quarter.

The first touchdown came when Jenkins ran to his right and was swarmed by the Lee defense. He spun to his left, found an open field in front of him and beat the Generals to the end zone.

On Jenkins’ other two scoring runs, he found an open hole and burst through quickly on the way to a touchdown.

“I wouldn’t be out there without the blocks of my backs and my linemen. They just made the holes and I just hit them,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins’ final touchdown run came on the final play of the first half after the Bears defense stopped a Lee drive that consumed 3:00 and moved the ball from the Lee 32 to the Union 29.

With :08 left on the clock, Jenkins found a gap in the defense and raced to a 71-yard touchdown.

“That last touchdown Jenkins had, I think our guys were disappointed that we didn’t convert on the last play and he found a hole and was off,” said Lee coach Jeremy Pendergraft.

That score put Union up by three touchdowns and was a dagger for Pendergraft’s Generals (2-4, 0-2).

“We’re not built right now with depth and experience to come back from 21-0,” he said.

PUTTING ON THE FINAL TOUCHES

In the second half, Union’s Aaron Stidham scored on a 4-yard run with 10:09 to play in the third quarter. On the Bears’ next possession, Mason Polier, who finished with 105 yards rushing, broke loose down the sideline for a 32-yard score to put Union up 35-0 and invoke the continuous clock rule.

With 9:45 left in the game, Union scored its final touchdown on a 1-yard run from Andy Jones, and Justin Falin added his sixth PAT to put the Bears up 42-0.

Lee’s only score came on the kickoff following Jones’ score when Devin Goins returned the kick for an 85-yard touchdown.

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