What was once the marquee Mountain 7 game of the season has became a ho-hum affair in recent memory. The Union Bears (4-1, 1-1) extended their winning streak over Gate City (0-5, 0-2) to four with a 33-13 victory at Legion Field in Gate City.
The Bears found the end zone on their first five possessions. Four of those scores came in the first half to take a 26-0 lead into the break. Union relied on veteran quarterback Bailey Turner to get the team back into winning form after dropping their last contest at Ridgeview. The senior finished the contest a perfect 7-7 throwing the ball with two throws going for touchdowns.
Junior bruiser Mason Polier gave Union an early lead with an eight yard rushing touchdown and the Bears never looked back. The second quarter proved to be the death knell for the homestanding Blue Devils as they gave up three touchdowns in the frame, including Turner’s two touchdown passes.
The first touchdown pass for Turner was a beautiful fifteen yard strike to senior Justin Falin to put the Bears ahead 12-0. Speedster Avery Jenkins, the Bears leading rusher on the night with 91 yards, scampered by the defense on a 30-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 19-0. Turner connected on his second touchdown pass to Falin right before the half expired to send Union to the locker room up 26-0.
Despite giving up the first touchdown of the second half to Union on a five yard run from Aaron Stidham, the Blue Devils showed pride by never quitting. The final stanza saw Gate City score twice to cut the final margin to twenty points and avoid the shutout.
The first points for the Blue Devils came from a two yard scoring run by Logan Tomlinson. However, it was too late in the contest for Gate City to make a substantial run. Drew Meyers’ seven yard touchdown run was the final score of the night to square the final score at 33-13.
Gate City, a team who despite recent failings has not ran from tough competition has now lost five straight to begin the 2018 campaign after a 1-9 season in 2017. Union rebounded from their first Mountain 7 loss since losing to these same Blue Devils at Gate City in 2014 to push their record to 4-1.
Next week, Union will be on the road with another big out of conference game as they take on Morristown West. Gate City gets no reprieve as they host the Ridgeview Wolfpack at Legion Field.
Seth. Sports fan. Big Stone Gap native. Freelance writer. Knows the difference between a 3-4 and a 4-3 as well as the species of the symbiote from Spider-Man (Klyntar). A decade plus covering local high school sport in one capacity or another. Takes himself very, very seriously. Hire me!!!!