As the last seconds clicked off the clock the "perfect" regular season came to an end and history was made as Union finished (9-0) with a 29-14 win over the Vinton Vikings.In addition to being the first ever undefeated regular season, the 2010 Knights were also the first ever district championship in class 3A. In 23 years previous the Union Knights were 2A district champions in 1992 and also 2A co-district champions on 1997.
A rather lack luster first half nearly put the standing room only crowd to sleep as the Knights and Vikings were tied 7-7 going in at the end of the second quarter. Wesley Burnside continued on his 200 yards per game terror as he broke over the 2000 yard mark (season) early in the first half.Burnside put the Knights up 6-0 on the very first drive of the game and a Reid Monroe PAT made it 7-0.Vinton countered in the second period with a 9 yard run by Logan Williams and he also kicked the PAT to make the game a 7-7 tie. Vinton had the ball for most of the first half as they were 5 of 5 on fourth down conversions.
The second half belonged to the district 5 champion Knights as they scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and the Union defense stiffened. Burnside had an eight and 63 yard run in the third quarter with a Monroe PAT and a two point pass conversion from Cory Feldpouch to Blake Clark. At the end of the third quarter the score was Union 22, Vinton 7.The Vikings continued to play into the fourth and scored on a 21 yard run by Gunner Tranel and with the PAT made the score Union 22, Vinton 14.The Knight run game continued to churn out yardage and moved the ball into the red zone until sophomore QB Trev Hadachek scored on a 1 yard plunge making the final score Knights 29, Vikings 14 after the Monroe PAT. Monroe also punted four times on the night for a 37.8 averaging to maintain good field position.
Practice makes perfect
Vinton had averaged over 300 yards per game in district play and the Knight defense held them to 206 in 55 carries.Vinton was also forced to pass 15 times as Riffey completed 7 of 15 attempts for 96 yards and one interception by Union senior captain Brad Siebel. For the Knight defense, juniors Cole Hinders (13T, 9UT, 4AT, 2TFL) and Wes Burnside (13T, 7UT, 6AT) led the team in tackles.Linebackers Dylan McLaughlin (12T, 6UT,6AT, 1.5TFL) and Blake Clark (11T, 5UT, 6AT, 2.5TFL) were closely behind.The defensive line was led by Matt Schmitz with (7T, 4UT, 3AT, 2TFL).In addition to the interception, Siebel (6T, 4UT, 2AT) had several key stops.
Offensively the Knights only scored 29 points but broke the all time record for points during the regular season with 397 averaging 44 points per game.The old record was 320 points from the 1997 2A co-district champion team.The 2010 team also broke the team record for offensive regular season most total offense with 3578 yards (the old record was 3574 yards, 1997).
Wes Burnside has completely re-wrote the rushing and scoring record book. Burnside finished with 238 yards against the Vikings in 22 carries and 3 TDs. He averaged over 10 yards per carry. Burnside finished the regular season with several individual records including 2154 yards rushing (old record 1415 by Brett Hakeman, 2004), most points, 178 (old record 122 by Garrett Gingrich, 1997), and most touchdowns, 29 (old record not available). He also set the individual game records of most yards rushing with 318 vs. Marion (old record by Garrett Gingrich, 269 vs. Maquoketa Valley, 1997), most rushing attempts, also an unofficial state record, 57 (old record 42 by Chris Miller vs Cascade, 1993) and tied the record for TDs in a game with 5 (tied record with Gingrich vs CPU, Miller vs Nashua-Plainfield, and Jason Fowler vs Dike-NH).