By Lawanna Monk
BULLARD-- Lovelady's playoff run came to an end with a 14-7 loss to undefeated Union Grove in the area round Friday, Nov. 21 at Bullard High School.
Lovelady received the opening kickoff and Emanual Williams returned it 33 yards to the Union Grove 47. On first down, quarterback Lee Holsey tossed out to Taylor Golden, who ran right to the Union Grove 28. Holsey then passed to Jacob Jeffus to the 15 yard line. After a 5-yard penalty setback, Holsey carried to the 13 yard line. Losing three yards on the next two plays, the Lions attempted a field goal that was blocked. After a scramble for the ball, Union Grove recovered at the 5 yard line.
Union Grove took over, but was held by big defensive plays Jacob Jeffus, Brandon Gearhart and Petey Little. Union Grove finally turned the ball over on a fumble caused by Taylor Connell and recovered by Andrew Estes.
The first quarter ended 0-0.
Union Grove had a high snap on a punt and Petey Little took him down at Union Grove 22 to give Lovelady the ball. The Lions reached the 15, but were unable to convert on fourth down.
Union Grove took over and scored on a 85-yard quarterback keeper for a 6-0 lead with 1:52 left in the second quarter. The Lions shut down the 2-point conversion.
The first half ended with Union Grove holding a 6-0 lead.
In the third quarter, Courtell McQuirter intercepted a pass and Taylor Connell caused another fumble that was recovered by Alex McKnight.
With 9:07 in the fourth quarter, the Lions put together a 56-yard scoring drive following a punt.
A 15-yard pass interference call on Union Grove moved the Lions to the Union Grove 44. Williams gained eight, Golden carried to the 11 and Williams carried the next two plays to the 2 yard line. On the next play Holsey scored on a two-yard plunge with 9:07 left in the game. Jose Mora kicked the extra point to put the Lions up 7-6.
Union Grove returned Lovelady's kickoff to the 31 yard line. On first down, Dustin Ham forced a fumble and Connell recovered on the Union Grove 31, but the Lions were unable to capitalize and were forced to punt after losing yardage on several plays.
After Jeffus's punt went into the endzone for a touchback, Union Grove drove 75 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, scoring nine plays later from the 18 yard line with 3:20 left. Union Grove's quarterback ran the 2-point conversion for a 14-7 lead.
Union Grove will now face Alto in the third round of the playoffs.