The St. James football team (4-4, 3-2 FRC) traveled to Union for a Four Rivers Conference matchup on Friday. Oct. 12. The first quarter was scoreless for both squads, but Union turned it on in the second quarter and never looked back in a 41-3 win over St. James.
St. James hadn't been able to find the end zone, but they were playing well on both sides of the ball before a string of injuries. Starting running back Tyler Recker played just three offensive snaps before going down with an injury. Quarterback Tate Whitener and receiver/defensive back Rustin Branum also went down with injuries early.
Despite the injuries, the Tigers were the first team on the board on the night, as St. James opened the second quarter with a 24-yard field goal by Zach Davis. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Union jump started their offense after that and finished the first half with three touchdowns. First Matt Bray found the end zone on a nine-yard run. After Union blocked a Tiger punt, Bray ran in a short two-yard score. Bray ran in another short score just before the half and the usually pass-happy Wildcats led 21-3 on three rushing touchdowns at the half.
Union picked up where they left off in the second half. First Derek Hulsey hit Peyton Burke for a 64-yard strike, before Bray punched in his fourth touchdown of the night to put the turbo clock into effect with a 35-3 lead. Hulsey hit Joey Sullivan for a six-yard touchdown in the fourth to put the finishing touches on a 41-3 win over St. James.
The Tigers had a rare tough game on the ground, as they ran for just 84 yards as a team on 26 carries. Recker only carried the ball twice in the game for six yards do to an injury. Freshman Chandler Tinsley led the team in rushing with 32. Whitener was 5-20 for 30 yards, before also going down with an injury. He was replaced by Nick Halbrook, who was 1-7 for two yards with an interception. While the Tigers are banged up, head coach Josh Rodriguez expects all three players that went down with injuries to be able to return to action by Districts.
Defensively, Connor Gorrell led the team with 15 tackles, followed closely by Sage Gibson's 14. Broc Chitwood added nine tackles on the night. Gorrell and Gibson each added interceptions for the Tigers, while Gorrell also batted down a pair of passes. Tyler Teague had the team's lone sack on the night.
St. James will wrap up their regular season with a trip to Pacific this week.