Prior to the kickoff Friday night in LaPorte City there was a special ceremony honoring all members of the Union and Mt. Vernon communities who served in the military, fire and police departments, and para rescue in recognition of Patriot Day.
The fans were treated to a defense that would bend but not break and an offense that exploded in the second half. After a close half-time score 14-7, the final gun sounded with Union 35, Mt Vernon 7. A record breaking performance by Jared Wauters for most receiving yards in a game (153 yards, old record 148 yards by Wauters 2008, and Travis Clapp 1998) and also longest pass play from scrimmage (90 yards from Steven McGarvey, old record 81 yards Kimble Gingrich from Matt Appleton, 1998) highlighted the offense. Wauters had five receptions and two TDs (one rush, one pass). McGarvey was 7 of 15 for 165 yards and two TDs. In the rushing department, Wesley Burnside weaved and darted his way for 143 yards and two TDs in 17 carries for and 8.4 yard average. The offensive line also opened up holes for Josh Dunkelberger, with 4 carries, 51 yards. After leading at halftime 14-7, the kickoff coverage team set the tempo for the rest of the game. McGarvey had 6 kickoffs for a 54.5 yard average and also punted three times for a 36 yard average. Wauters (3 for 37) and Burnside (2 for 31) had five punt returns behind some great blocking for a total of 68 yards. The defense was lead by linebackers Josh Dunkelberger (14T, 9UT, 5AT), Bob Mangrich (8T, 5 UT, 3 AT, 1TFL), and cornerback Justin Macal (8T, 4UT, 4AT). Dunkelberger also had a key interception to stall a Mt Vernon drive inside the 10 yard line and returned it 13 yards. The Union Knight defense held Mt Vernon to 229 yards compared to Union's 409 yards. All in all, 18 Union Knight defenders contributed to the tackle total by the end of the night. The Knights currently are (3-0) overall and (1-0) in district play. Next week Union travels to Anamosa with the sophomore game starting at 5:15pm and the varsity game kicking off at 7:30pm. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:Offensive Line: Zach Bathen played his best game of the year with consistent blocking in run and pass game, 80% grade efficiency. Offensive Back: Wesley Burnside, 143 yards, two TDs in 17 carries, 89% efficiency. Offensive Receiver: Jared Wauters, two Union school records with 153 yards in 5 receptions for total yards in one game and longest reception in a game with 90 yards. Defensive Line: Matt Gross, solid run and pass defense, recorded 5 tackles with 1 TFL, 90% grade efficiency. Defensive Back: Justin Macal, super pass defense with several breakups, 98% grade efficiency. Defensive LBer: Josh Dunkelberger, led team with 14 tackles, 1 interception, 80% efficiency. Special Teams: Cody Krall, big hit on kickoff unit and upper level performance Wesley Burnside, 2 punt returns for 31 yards.