Union is back in more ways than one. But most importantly, it is back on the winning track.
Grayson Tempest completed 8-of-11 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a dominating first half to lead No. 4 Union to a 62-12 victory over Moore on Thursday night in Union’s return to its home stadium that is still under construction in District 6AI-2 action.
After losing to the state’s four best teams, Union is now back rolling after scoring 128 points in the past two weeks. The win came against a Moore team that has lost four games by seven points or fewer.
“It’s definitely kind of weird with all the construction and what I call being on the wrong sideline, but it is just fun to be back in front of our home fans,” Union coach Kirk Fridrich said of his team’s first home game of the season with only half of the stands available.
For Tempest, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, the game was another step in his stepping up as Union’s leader.
“You love to see a guy who competes like that and I was proud of the way he managed the offense,” Fridrich said. “He’s just getting better. Every rep counts. Every scenario he sees he is getting more comfortable. He is really doing a nice job for us.”
Union (2-4, 2-1) scored with ease on every first half possession, and even scored on one of Moore’s.
Moore (1-6, 0-4) was outgained 276-40 in the first half, and trailed 27-0 after the first quarter.
Arkansas commit A.J. Green gained 154 yards rushing with three touchdowns on 18 carries. He would have had more if he didn’t have a 32-yarder called back in the second quarter.
“A.J. is a team captain and a team leader for a reason. He had another great night,” Fridrich said. “He is running with a lot of authority. He is starting to use his strength and definitely has a lot of balance in the way he runs with guys having a hard time knocking him off of his feet.”
Rovaughn Banks opened up the onslaught on a 7-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the game with 8:49 left in the first quarter. The Redskins quickly increased the lead to 14-0 on Moore’s first series, as Matthias Roberson scored on a 5-yard fumble return.
Another Moore fumble on the next series was recovered by Hayden Brockett, which set up a short field for a 2-yard run by Banks. When Tempest found Jared James for a touchdown late in the first quarter, Union led 27-0 and the rout was on.
Green scored on an 11-yard run with 9:14 left in the second quarter right after a 1-yarder was called back, increasing the lead to 34-0. Green soon added a 5-yard touchdown run, and was followed by a 20-yard strike from Tempest to Da’Monn Sanders with 1:35 remaining in the first half to give Union a 48-0 lead going into halftime.
Tempest was intercepted on the first series of the second half by Dion Williams in his only passing attempt of the second half not long after getting shoved out of bounds into the sideline wall on side of the stadium construction.
Moore finally got onto the board after the interception on a 1-yard run by quarterback Denver Wolfe. Green answered with a 9-yard touchdown on the next series.
UNION 62, MOORE 12
Moore 0 0 6 6 — 12
Union 27 21 7 7 — 62
UNI — Rovaughn Banks 7 run (Cowan kick), 8:49
UNI — Matthias Roberson 5 fumble return (Cowan kick), 8:03
UNI — Rovaughn Banks 2 run (kick failed), 5:14
UNI — James 5 pass from Tempest (Cowan kick), 1:14
UNI — Green 11 run (Cowan kick), 9:14
UNI — Green 5 run (Cowan kick), 3:57
UNI — Da’Monn Sanders 20 pass from Tempest (Cowan kick), 1:35
MOO — Wolfe 1 run (kick failed), 9:17
UNI — Green 9 run (Cowan kick), 1:22
MOO — Pittman 3 run (kick failed), 8:52
UNI — Rovaughn Banks 2 run (Cowan kick), 2:14
First Downs — MOO 9, UNI 27. Rushes-Yards — MOO 27-75, UNI 43-287. Comp-Att-Int — MOO 9-17-0, UNI 8-12-1. Passing Yards — MOO 75, UNI 145. Fumbles-Lost — MOO 3-3, UNI 1-0. Penalty Yards — MOO 4-40, UNI 9-71. Records — MOO 2-4, UNI 1-6. Total Yards — MOO 150, UNI 432. Punts-Avg. — MOO 0-0, UNI 5-26.2.
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