The Union Knights opened up the new facilities Friday night in La Porte City with two halves of football. The first half was one where Western Dubuque controlled a slight edge in all three phases of the game and jumped out 21-14. The second half started with a 22 point explosion in the third quarter with the Union defense, offense and special teams all contributing. It all started when Trev Hadachek returned an interception for a TD on the Bobcats opening drive of the 3rd quarter and the Knights turned on the throttle to cruise to a 43-28 victory.
Before the game started there was a special tribute to the senior football players and cheerleaders. The game was also tabbed as a "pink" out where fans, coaches, and players wore pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. In addition, Craig and Deb Gingrich, parent's of Garrett and Taylor Gingrich, were honored as part of the coin flip. The Gingrich's were representing all the Union community members who have served our country past and present. Currently, they have two sons, Garrett and Taylor Gingrich, both actively serving. Jason Merchant was also recognized for currently serving.
The Knights stalled out on the first offensive drive of the game and were forced to punt behind the leg of Reid Monroe (2 punts for 38 yd ave). Western Dubuque went to a combination of run and pass to move the ball down the field and finished with a touchdown pass from District 5 pass game leaders Matt Kass (10 of 25, 126 yds, 1 Td, 1 int) and Nick Lenstra (5 rec for 92 yards) from 35 yards out. After a Sam Burds PAT, the Bobcats led 7-0. Union responded with the "Wes Express" going back to Wes Burnside and he responded behind the offenive line with a drive that ended with a 3 yard run for TD. Monroe's PAT was good to tie the game 7-7. The Bobcats took the next kickoff return the distance with Adam Hoeger going 86 yards to a TD. Burds PAT made the game 14-7, Western Dubuque.
The Knight offense was still not in sink and Western Dubuque took another possession in the second quarter and drove until Kass hit Lenstra with a 15 yard TD pass. After the PAT the Bobcats led 21-7. The Knights fought back, like they have all season, with Trev Hadachek (9 of 13, 2 Tds, 1 int) connecting with Cory Feldpouch for a 39 yard TD pass. Before this game Hadachek ranked #1 with QB passing efficiency in 3A District 5. The Bobcat lead was cut to 21-14 after the PAT by Monroe and the Knights went into halftime down by seven.
On the opening drive of the second half Trev Hadachek picked off a Kass pass and returned it 41 yards for TD. It was just the spark the Knights needed to inject a different level of play for Union to finish the final two quarters. The PAT missed and Union trailed 21-20. The third quarter was very good to Union as they scored 22 points including two Wes Burnside runs for TD and 2 - two point conversions. Hadachek ran one and Brad Siebel connected with Feldpouch via the air on the other one. As the third quarter ended the score was Union 36, WD 21.
The Union defense responded to the challenge in the second half and stepped up to only allow one TD in the fourth quarter. The defense was led by Dylan McLaughlin (11T, 8UT, 3AT, 1TFL) and Wes Burnside (10T,8UT,2AT). In addition Matt Schmitz had (6T, 5UT, 1AT) and three tackles for loss. Others having tackles for loss were TJ Gray, Cole Hindres and Cody Krall.
The fourth quarter gave Union an opportunity to take deep field position and have Hadachek connect with Feldpouch on a record breaking 92 yard TD reception. The previous record was Steven McGarvey to Jared Wauters, 90 yds vs Mt Vernon, 2009. After the Bobcats Mike Kluesner scored on a 3 yard run and made the PAT the final score was Union 43, Western Dubuque 28.
PERFECT ending to opening new stadium with six new records:
Wes Burnside broke four records with a great night rushing breaking the 200 yard mark. Burnside carried the ball 27 times for 234 yards and 3 TDs. He broke the all-time rushing record for regular season performance by Brett Hakeman (1415), the all time rushing record for most yards (regular season and post season) held by Jason Fowler (1426), the most TDs record formerly held by Garrett Gingrich (20 Tds,) and most points also formerly held by Gingrich (122 pts).
Burnside, a junior, has accomplished all four goals in seven games at the 3A level. He now has 23 TDs and and 138 points. He has 1598 yards rushing after seven games. Going into Friday night he was the leading rusher, all levels, in the state of Iowa.
In the pass game, Cory Feldpouch broke a record for most receiving yards in a game with 188 in four receptions and two TDs. The old record was 171 by Jared Wauters (2009 vs Benton). Feldpouch was also part of the record combination of the longest TD reception in Union history with a 92 yard catch from Trev Hadachek. The old record was Steven McGarvey to Jared Wauters (2009 Mt. Vernon).
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
There were several record breaking performances this past Friday. In honor of the first win on the new field and a great second half, the honor for Player of the Week went to the entire TEAM. Congratulations Union Knights!