Playbook Preview: Union hosts East Marion for round one of 2A playoffs

Union quarterback Kenyon Clay runs in for a touchdown in the Yellowjackets 40-21 win over...
Union quarterback Kenyon Clay runs in for a touchdown in the Yellowjackets 40-21 win over Philadelphia(WTOK Sports)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 11:32 PM CST
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UNION, Miss. (WTOK) - With teams like Bay Springs, Taylorsville and Philadelphia competing in MHSAA 2A, Union has always felt like underdogs.

“People always say ‘Oh Union won’t be able to make it into the playoffs’ and this and that," senior defensive lineman Robert Craft said. “We want to change things. We want to be looked at different and we want to be given respect.”

The Yellowjackets came close to winning their district this season, but a 38-33 come from behind win by Scott Central awarded them second place. They finished out the season strong with a dominant 40-21 victory over Philadelphia and now have the opportunity to prove themselves in the postseason, hosting East Marion on Friday night.

First year head coach Jordan Wren said the team has done all they can physically to prepare for the playoffs. He believes the key now is getting his team mentally locked in each week for the next opponent ahead.

“When you begin the playoffs records go out of the way. Everyone is 0-0," Wren said. “I think the biggest thing is we have to be 1-0 at the end of every week because as soon as you don’t go 1-0 then the season is over with, so that’s always the main goal.”

Union was unaware they would face East Marion until Monday night when the 2A playoffs bracket was finalized. Wren said he stayed up all Monday night to have a practice plan ready in place for his team on Tuesday.

“They (East Marion) are really athletic, really fast. They do some things on offense that can give us some issues,” Wren said. “Game planning wise it’s almost been like preparing for Newton, so it’s not going to be a big difference of a game plan than what we’ve seen before.”

Winning a state championship in football is something Union has never done, and doing so under a new coaching staff in a year filled with COVID-19 challenges is unexpected. But the Yellowjackets see it as a challenge they can rise above.

“We’re used to being the underdogs so we play with a chip on our shoulder and it just drives us," senior offensive lineman Jacob Moore said. "Our goal now is to make it as far as we can, hopefully get to the championship and win the whole thing.”

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