MALAKOFF - It took some time, but both offenses got it going in the second half as Union Grove pulled away from the Cross Roads Bobcats for a 39-14 win Thursday night at Rock Tower Stadium.
Lion quarterback Austin Owens accounted for five touchdowns, three rushing and two passing, while leading the offensive charge for both squads.
Owens finished the night 4 of 14 passing for 112 yards and rushed for 136 yards on 14 attempts to finish the night with 248 yards of total offense to his credit.
Not to be outdone, Cross Roads senior quarterback Taylor McKenzie accounted for both Bobcat scores while completing 10 of 27 passes for 93 yards. He rushed for 133 yards on 21 attempts.
Neither team moved the ball well in the opening half as the two teams combined for 193 yards of offense - 133 for Union Grove and 63 for Cross Roads.
Union Grove (6-1 overall, 2-0 district) needed just two plays to score on its first offensive possession of the game as senior Alec Mayhan rumbled his way in from 22 yards out. The two-point attempt was missed.
On their third possession, Union Grove took a 13-0 lead as Owens scored on a five-yard run before Parker Thornton kicked the extra point.
With 27 seconds to play before the half, Union Grove scored once more as Owens connected with Thornton on a 18-yard strike before the two-point attempt was missed.
Cross Roads had a 64-yard touchdown pass called back in the first half on a block-in-the-back call, while just missing a wide open receiver on a fake punt attempt that would have likely been another score.
In the third quarter both teams found the end zone quick.
Union Grove needed just three plays on the opening possession of the half to score as Owens raced in from 32 yards out. Thornton kicked the extra point.
On Cross Roads’ first play of the half McKenzie kept the ball and raced 61 yards up the middle of the field to make it a 20-point game, 26-6, after the missed extra point.
Owens connected with Tanner Stanley on a 57-yard pass to put the Lions ahead 32-6 before he scored on a nine-yard run to make it a 39-6 game following Thornton’s extra point.
Cross Roads (0-7, 0-2) ended the game with a 3:19 drive that was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass from McKenzie to Jordan Hooten. McKenzie then found Dalton Cook on a pass for the two-point conversion.
Union Grove forced two turnovers in the game in the opening half. Wesley Anderson had an interception while Luke Dougherty recovered a fumble.