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Union to compete against Taylorsville for spot in South State title game

The Yellowjackets and Tartars will meet Friday in round three of MHSAA 2A playoffs
The Yellowjackets and Tartars will meet Friday in round three of MHSAA 2A playoffs(Union High School/Taylorsville Attendance Center)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 1:19 AM CST
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UNION, Miss. (WTOK) - High school football playoffs continue on Friday across the Magnolia State with one matchup in 2A public school action generating a lot of buzz.

The Union Yellowjackets will hit the road to face the Taylorsville Tartars in round three of class 2A for the Mississippi High School Activities Association.

Competing in round three of the playoffs is something Taylorsville has become very accustomed to. Since 2017, the Tartars have made it all the way past the third round of the playoffs - winning state championships in 2017 and 2019 while falling to Scott Central in the 2018 title game.

While Union’s players may not have third round playoff experience, head coach Jordan Wren and others on staff have competed in the third round of the playoffs before.

“This is my third time competing in the third round,” Wren said. “I believe for our current defensive coordinator Joey Ward this is his eighth third round game so coaching staff wise we have the experience.”

The Tartars are loaded with offensive weapons that include quarterback Ty Keyes (Tulane commit), receivers Tyrese Keyes and Arterious Miller and running back Jeff Pittman.

Through eight games, Ty Keyes has thrown for 2025 yards and has a 66.9 completion percentage. Tyrese Keyes leads all wideouts in receiving yards with 718 yards off 36 receptions, while Miller leads the group in touchdowns with 10 to go along with 658 receiving yards. As for the run game, Pittman is averaging 108 yards per game with 13 touchdowns on the season.

Despite the talent on Taylorsville’s roster, Coach Wren believes his team can hang with the Tartars and anyone in 2A after the Yellowjackets performance in week seven against Scott Central.

“People would ask me ‘How could are you?’ and I told them I’ll find out when we play Scott Central. After we were able to compete with Scott Central the way we did, I knew we had the ability to compete with anybody in 2A in Mississippi,” Wren said. “We just need to execute, play, tackle and play fundamental football and they’ve done that pretty well.”

Union has plenty of talent on offense just like the Tartars. Junior Kenyon Clay stepped up in a big way to fill the quarterback role this season for the Yellowjackets. His ability to attack through the air and on the ground has kept defenders on their toes all season long.

The Yellowjackets also utilize physical running back Jaylon Buckley and receivers Jamarcus “Julio” Jones and Jaheim Gill.

Union’s game plan this week is to prep for Fridays matchup like any other matchup. The team knows what’s at stake but believe they have all the necessary talent and focus to get the job done.

“I believe we’ve got the tools, the speed and the strength. We just have to put it together," Buckley said. "As long as we play hard and listen to what coach has to say, the sky’s the limit on what can happen.”

“We started watching film on Sunday and ever since then we’ve been locked in and know what we’re playing for," senior center Alex Sharp said. “Instead of just being a team that comes out and competes in district or comes out and competes in the normal season we want to prove we’re one of the teams that can come out and compete for a state championship.”

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