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Strong finish fuels Farmers
, staff@fgazette.com
09-14-2017

To be certain Joe Spatafora
wants his Union Parish
High School football to
win every time they take
the field. If the Farmers
finished 15-0, he’d be almost
perfectly happy.
But he also sees the early
part of the schedule as
a chance to get the team
ready for games played
“when it really counts.”
Each year, UPHS plays
a non-district schedule featuring
teams that make
deep runs into the playoffs
year after year. Last season,
all six of the Farmers opponents
were coming off
seasons where they’d qualified
for the post season.
This year is no exception.
Starting the season at Class
5A Airline, the Farmers
returned to Doc Elliott
Stadium to open the home
season against perennial
power Calvary Baptist. Friday
night, they’ll entertain
Rayville, which made it to
the quarterfinals in Class
A last season.
“They’ve always got
great athletes,” Spatafora
said of the Hornets. “Every
game we’ve played against
them has been a battle.”
Union Parish has a fourgame
winning streak in the
series, with three of those
wins coming by eight points
or less. The only game that
wasn’t close was a 48-7 win
by the Farmers in 2013
when they won the Class 3A
state championship.
Rayville brings an 0-2
record into the game. They
are coming off a 32-22 loss
to Jena.
Offensively, they are
led by junior quarterback

James Powell Jr. (6-1, 175).
For the season, Powell has
passed for 516 yards with
six touchdowns and just
one interception.
His top two targets are
senior Rashad Naylor, who
is averaging 21.4 yards
per catch with 10 grabs
on the season, including
four touchdowns – three
last week against Jena.
Junior Samuel Sledge has
11 catches for 141 yards
with one touchdown on
the season.
After having a fourthquarter
lead in six games
that ended as losses last
season, Spatafora has
harped on the Farmers
need to finish games this
year. After taking a 22-15
lead over Calvary into
halftime, the Cavaliers
mounted a comeback that
saw the game tied at 25
after they kicked a field
goal in the fourth quarter.
“Our kids did a better
job last week than we
have in a while,” Spatafora
said. “I felt when we held
them to a field goal that
we would be able to put it
away, and we did.”
A late score and extra
point gave the Farmers
a seven-point advantage.
Defensively, they held Calvary
in check after the
kickoff and regained possession
and ran out the
clock to even their record
at 1-1.
Freshman Trent Ginn
got his second start at
quarterback, as senior
Lawrence Glosson Jr. continues
to be limited by
an ankle injury that happened
in practice leading
up to the Airline game.
Glosson saw his first action
of the season against
Calvary. He hit on six of
ten pass attempts for 66
yards. He also added 41
yards and a touchdown
rushing. Ginn competed
three of six passes, rushed
for 40 yards and had two
catches on completions
from Glosson.
“We can put (Glosson)
in at quarterback and can
keep the freshman in the
game at running back and
give (opponents) something
else they have to be
on the lookout for,” Spatafora
said.



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