The Union defense stepped up the level of play to another level Friday night at La Porte City on a rain soaked field in a game that determined who would get the #2 seed in 3A District 4.
Defensively, the #7 ranked Cardinals were held to 3 first downs the entire night before the very last drive of the game and less than 100 yards of total offense. The Knight defense recorded 11 tackles for loss and also one big interception on a middle screen by senior captain Matt Gross. Tackle leaders for the Knights included: Josh Dunkelberger (10T, 5UT, 5AT, 1TFL), Blake Clark (8T, 5UT, 3AT, 1.5 TFL), Austin Bunz (7T, 5UT, 2AT, 2 TFL), and Matt Schmitz (6T, 3UT, 3AT, 2TFL). Also with tackles for loss were Matt Gross (1), TJ Gray (2), Cory Feldpouch (.5), Zach Purdy (1), and Zach Bathen (1). Secondary play by Jared Wauters, Damon Powell, Justin Macal, and Bradly Siebel held the Cardinal spread attack in check with only 9 completions in 29 attempts for 131 yards.
Special teams played a key role in field position all night long with superior kickoff and punt coverage by the Union Knights. Steven McGarvey had 7 kickoffs for 350 yards and a 50 yard average. McGarvey also had several key punts while jockeying for field position early in the first half. Zach Purdy had the lone kickoff return for a 32 yard scamper.
Offensively, after a scoreless first quarter, the Union run game erupted after a tremendous catch by Austin Bunz (2 rec, 109 yds, 1TD) from a Steven McGarvey (9 of 15, 174 yds, 2TDs) pass. McGarvey ran 8 yards for the first Knight TD and added the PAT. Sophomore Wes Burnside (18 att, 196 yds, 2 TDs) then picked up the run game and bolted 65 yards for his first TD of the night, 14-0 after the PAT. At the very end of the first quarter Gross had the interception for TD but Union missed the PAT, 20-0. In the second half Burnside ripped a 60 yard run for a TD behind Cole Johnson, Gray, Gross, Reece Ewoldt, Bathen, and Bunz. With the score 27-0, the final two scores came through the air as McGarvey connected with Wauters for a 13 yard TD, followed by a 65 yard pass to Bunz for a TD. Final score Union 40, Maquoketa 0. Union finished the regular season with a 7-2 overall record.
Players of Week: Awarded to entire team.