Football: Jets Fly Over Rival Shamrocks

MORRISTOWN – Got milk?

That would be the upstart and undefeated Union Local Jets.

Coach Bruce Stiles’ eye-opening club ran its record to 3-0 with a 57-13 triumph against rival Barnesville on Friday night. The triumph came in the Jets’ home opener and also enabled UL to take possession of the “Milk Bucket,” the revolving trophy between the western Belmont County rivals.

The Shamrocks, who had won the last three outings against UL, are 0-3.

“It is an exciting time right now. The kids are playing well and their confidence level continues to grow,” Stiles said. “I am really happy with how things are going right now.

Barnesville, meanwhile, is battling youthfulness and injuries. The Shamrocks started the game minus several regulars before seeing a few more leave the field hobbled.

Barnesville played well early, gaining a 13-7 lead. However, the Shamrocks proved to be their own worst enemies, yielding four turnovers in the first half which translated into a 28-13 UL halftime advantage.

The Jets completely owned the second half, ending the game with 50 unanswered points.

“I was happy with how we responded after falling behind. I told the kids we would find out how good we are when we had to overcome some adversity,” Stiles said. “We got a small taste of that.

“We were able to take advantage of the opportunities when they presented themselves.”

UL drew fist blood when Spencer Ware intercepted a Shamrocks pass and raced 65 untouched yards down the sideline. Eric Dunfee’s PAT made it 7-0 with 3:54 left in the opening quarter.

Barnesville struck back immediately as sophomore Dylan Burkhart hauled in the ensuing kickoff and scampered 90 yards to paydirt. A David Brown PAT made it a 7-7 deadlock.

The Shamrocks used a quick-striking three-play, 49-yard drive to grab the lead late in the opening quarter. The key play in the series was a 47-yard connection from Austin Hannahs to Chase Huntsman. Hannahs capped the drive from 5 yards out, leaving the visitors on top 13-7.

The roof came tumbling down at this point for Barnesville.

UL’s Colton McKivits scooped up a Barnesville fumble and returned it 18 yards to the Shamrocks’ 14. Joey Brown carried it to paydirt on the ensuing snap for a 14-13 UL lead.

The Jets simply put the throttle down the balance of the night.

Senior quarterback Travis James speared sophomore Demitree Turner with a 40-yard aerial score followed by a 41-yard TD pass on a flea-flicker from Dunfee to Isaac Goodson, making it 28-13 at halftime.

The hosts added four more six-pointers and a safety after intermission. The highlight coming on a 70-yard touchdown gallop by Jake Leishman. He finished with 109 yards on just three carries.

UL displayed nice offensive balance, rushing for 247 yards and passing for 115 more. Barnesville garnered just 149 total yards while turning it over five times.