Union County scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to reach its highest point total of the season while holding Greer to its lowest point total of the season in a 39-22 win in the Class AAA playoffs Friday night at Dooley Field.
De’Arrius Smith passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 90 yards and another score as Union atoned for a 35-28 loss to Greer in the regular season, when Smith threw two interceptions.
Friday night it was Greer hurt by interceptions and an inability to produce.
Greer has lost in the second round of the playoffs after reaching that point undefeated for the second year in row.
“It doesn’t matter when you come out here – all the jumping around and the hoopla surrounding the game,” said Union coach Steve Taneyhill. “The kids have got to play, and I thought my guys played great – especially on offense.
“Take nothing away from Greer. That’s an awful good football team there, a class act. That’s a great football team we just beat. I’m proud of our kids. We just made some more plays.”
Doug Brannon caught three passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, and he intercepted Greer quarterback Mario Cusano, then returned the pick more than 60 yards, as Union sealed the win in the fourth quarter.
Shi Smith caught three passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another score.
Adrian McGee rushed for 103 yards for Greer, and Dorian Lindsey caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown, but Union was able to slow down Greer’s dynamic Troy Pride, who managed just 27 receiving yards and one touchdown after racking up 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season match-up.
Cusano rushed for 54 yards and passed for 188 yards and three scores, one to Alex Syphertt, but he threw two interceptions.
A few Greer players hung their heads and fought emotion as their season ended short of their state championship hopes. The seniors helped the team complete back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons for the first time in history.
“As they get older and they look back on it, they’ll be proud of what they accomplished, but there ain’t a whole lot you can tell them tonight to make them feel better,” said Greer coach Will Young. “We lose some very good football players who won a lot of games here at Greer High School, given a lot to our school and been great people. It’s always sad to say goodbye. But we’ve got another crop coming. We’ll go back to work and see if we can’t get past 11-1 somehow.”
The junior varsity team at Greer was also unbeaten during the regular season.
– Follow Michael Burns on Twitter @MikeNearGreer