Greer and Union County have already played this season, but it was eight weeks ago, which is why Greer coach Will Young doesn’t consider that game much of a barometer when it comes to tonight’s game.
“I think once the ball’s kicked off, you play football,” Young said. “Then the best team, the team that’s ready to play, the team’s that’s ready to move on, is the one that’s going to win.”
The teams will play another Jacket Bowl at 7:30 tonight in a Class AAA second-round playoff game at Dooley Field in Greer.
It’s the second straight rematch for Greer (9-2), which advanced with a 28-14 win over Seneca. The Bobcats beat Greer in overtime in Week 1.
Union County (6-5) defeated Wren 56-28 in the first round. Keiston Smith, Union County’s Shrine Bowl quarterback, passed for 438 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 46 yards and two scores. In the first Jacket Bowl of the season, Smith threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s a really good football player, and we have a lot of respect or him,” Young said.
Greer’s chief offensive weapon is junior running back Quez Nesbitt, who has rushed for 2,192 yards and 30 touchdowns. He had 178 yards and three scores in the win at Union County.
“The further you go in the playoffs, the more your big-time players have to perform,” Young said. “The teams get better. Your margin for error is less.”
Union County last reached the third round in 2009. Greer, which won a playoff game last week for the first time in four years, hasn’t been to the third round since 2006.
Young said he expects his players to be ready.
“I think our kids really look forward to Friday nights,” he said. “We just really enjoy playing football. I don’t know if you can coach it in them. You’re fortunate to have a group of kids who all really, really compete when the lights come on.”