The Union Knights won their homecoming game vs .the Vinton Vikings (16-14) before a packed home field at La Porte City. The team motto this year is "Find a Way or Make a Way" and that is exactly what had to happen as the first half was a defensive struggle (0-0). The stingy Knight defense held the Viking ground game in check for the first half. All scoring occurred in the second half with the Vikings running the ball for two scores and the Knights answering with two scores through the air and a last second fieldgoal, all in the fourth quarter, as time expired to pull off the win, 16-14.
The Union defense played solid all night long holding Vinton's leading rusher Clint Ferguson in check with 23 rushes for 64 yards. He was averaging over eight yards per carry prior to this game. The Knight defense had eight tackles for loss and were led by Josh Dunkelberger (12T, 8UT, 4AT, 1TFL), Jared Wauters (10T, 6UT, 4AT, 1TFL), and Justin Macal (10T, 5 UT, 5AT). In addition, Bradly Siebel had nine tackles and bob Mangrich had eight. The defensive line did a superb job against the run with the linebackers and secondary providing additional help at the line of scrimmage.
Offensively, Union did not get unplugged until seven minutes left in the fourth quarter and trailing (14-0). Several drives came up short in the first half and two ended in missed fieldgoals. However, the pass game generated enough firepower to get two TD passes from Steven McGarvey (17 of 35, 2TDs, 2INTs) to Jared Wauters (9REC, 107YDS, 2TDs) while setting two Union Knight all-time records. The team record for most pass completions (old record 16 from 1998 and 2007) was set with 17 and also the individual game record was tied for most completions in a game with nine (Michael Bruns vs MFL, 2007). In the run department Wes Burnside had a team high 61 yards in 11 carries.
Special teams provided additional excitement with a blocked field goal attempt by Josh Dunkelberger in the first quarter and a Steve McGarvey field goal of 28 yards as the time ran out in the fourth quarter to seal the win (16-14).
Players of the Week:
Defensive line: Matt Gross, graded out at 86% efficiency and had six tackles with five solo and one TFL
Defensive LBer: Josh Dunkelberger, led team in tackles with 12 and was a key factor in stopping the run game all night long
Defensive back: Damon Powell, graded out at a team high 96% efficiency with four tackles and one TFL
Special teams: PAT/FG unit for pulling off a "hurry up" fieldgoal to win the game as time ran out. Cory Feldpouch, backup holder, did a super job under pressure as time expired
Offensive back: Jared Wauters, 91% grade efficiency, 65 yards after contact with 9 receptions and 107 yards (tie Union record by Michael Bruns)
Offensive line/TE: Austin Bunz, several key blocks and four receptions to help establish Union Knight team record of 17 completions in one game while grading out at 85% efficiency
The Knights are now (5-0) overall with a (3-0) record in 3A district 4. The win also allowed this year's senior class to have the most wins (18) in Union history over the three year span (soph, junior, senior seasons). Previous record was 17 wins. Union travels to Benton Community Friday night with a sophomore game starting at 5:15pm followed by the 7:30pm varsity contest.
Other 3A District 4 scores:
Maquoketa 38 Anamosa 8
Central Clinton-Dewitt 12
Mt. Vernon 3