WOODSFIELD — After building a 14-point opening quarter lead, the host Monroe Central Seminoles needed a fourth quarter score to slip by the Union Local Jets, 21-16, in a mutual season opener on Friday.
Monroe Central got out of the gate early with the pair of first quarter scores.
The first capped a 13-play, 71-yard series, with Jarett Hooper covering the final three yards and Tanner Potts splitting the uprights with the PAT kick to give the host a 7-0 edge with 7:06 remaining in the first quarter.
On the first series for Union Local, Monroe Central’s Bobby O’Donnell stepped in front of the receiver and raced 43 yards to the “house” and the Potts’ PAT kick provided a 14-0 lead with 6:16 still showing in the opening round.
The second quarter was scoreless and Monroe Central took the 14-0 lead to the locker room at the intermission.
Following the break, the Jets mounted a comeback bid, with Bobby Stewart capping a 17-play, 70 yard  drive with a 27-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 14-3 with 6:46 left in the third frame.
Still in the third, Union Local pulled within four when Brian McWhorter rambled 28 yards to paydirt to cap a four-play, 49-yard series and Stewart booted the extra-point to cut the difference to 14-10 with 3:38 remaining in the quarter.
In the fourth frame, Monroe Central capitalized on a UL turnover at its four-yard line, with Chad Alleman taking the third play into the end zone on a one-yard plunge. Potts’ kick gave the ’Noles some breathing room with a 21-10 lead with 6:19 to play.
Union Local (0-1) was would not go quietly, however, as Stewart hooked up with  Josh Bolyard for a 33-yard TD pass with just 1:05 showing and the Jets went for the extra two points, but the running attempt was snuffed to provide the 21-16 final.
Monroe Central (1-0) rolled up a net 80 yards on 33 rushing attempts and connected on 5-of-15 passes for an additional 53  yards for a total of 133 yards of offense. Hooper paced the Seminoles on the ground with 13 carries for 61 yards, with Alleman adding 19 yards on 15 totes. Hooper also accounted for all the passing, with Ryan Lafollette collecting two grabs for 19 yards, O’Donnell one for 21 and  Joey Schumacher one for 10 yards.
Union Local ran the ball 49 times for a net total of 169 and completed 11-of-19 passes for 159 yards for a total of 328 yards on 68 plays. McWorther led the Jets’ ground game with 18 carries for 129 yards and Stewart added 34 yards on 20 tries. Stewart completed 7-of-12 passes for 113 yards and Bradan Lucas was 4-of-7 through the air for 46 yards. Bolyard had five grabs for 79 yards with Roy Talbott adding two receptions for 28 yards, Isaac Goodson two for 29 yards and Shane Smolenak two for 23 yards.
The Jets collected 19 first downs to just eight by the Seminoles, while Monroe was flagged just once for five yards and Union Local had six penalties for 37 yards.
NEXT — Union  Local travels to Buckeye Local on Friday for a 7 p.m. contest.