By Cheyne Reiter
When looking at the box score of Friday nights contest, you could say Union was 'clicking on all cylinders.' The offense, defense, and special teams all played their parts extremely well as Union routed Independence in a 57-0 shutout.
Union jumped out to a 15-0 first quarter lead as QB Trev Hadachek ran in the first touchdown from 22 yards out and later connected with a 27 yard strike to Union senior Hunter Zempel.
In the second quarter, Union tacked on another three touchdowns to head into the locker room with a comfortable 36-0 lead. The Wes 'Express' picked up steam as he broke loose for a 78 yard TD run to put the Knights up 22-0. Zempel was on the receiving end of a 32 yard juggling TD catch before Burnside added an 8 yard TD run late to give the Knights their 36 point cushion.
The second half saw more of the same from Union. Burnside exploded for a 76 yard run and added another TD with a 4 yard run before he saw his night come to an end. Union led 50-0 heading into the fourth quarter as the continuous clock was in effect for the entire second half. Hunter Zempel added his third touchdown of the night in the fourth, this time with a 9 yard run.
Offensive leaders included Burnside who had a monster night with 286 yards on just 17 carries, good for an average of 16.8 yards per carry. He also had four TD's on the ground to bring his season total to six. Hadachek was nearly perfect through the air as he was 6 of 7 for 134 yards and 2 TD's. He also added an impressive 93 yards on the ground. Hunter Zempel was on the receiving end of both of Hadachek's TD passes as he finished with two catches for 59 yards and a 9 yard TD scamper. Senior tight end Cole Hinders also had two receptions for 54 yards. By the time the scoreboard clock said 00:00 in the fourth quarter, Union had totaled a whopping 549 yards of total offense.
It was hard to find many mistakes for the Knights on offense; the same can be said about Union's defense and special teams. Union's D was lead by Kyle Ansley who had a team high seven tackles on the night. Union also picked off three Mustang passes as senior Jon Porter came away with two of them. Tyler Kirkpatrick had the other with a return of 15 yards. The Mustangs rushing attack was limited to just 153 yards and their offense barely broke the 200 yard mark as they ended the night with 202 yards of total offense. Union's swarming defense limited Indee's passing to just 6 of 20 for 49 yards and the three interceptions mentioned above.
As for the special teams unit, Union kicker Brady Petersen was a perfect 7-7 on PAT's and Hunter Zempel completed a 2-point conversion after Union's first touchdown of the night.
The Knights now sit at 2-0 (0-0) overall as they head into district play against Center Point-Urbana 0-2 (0-0) this Friday night in La Porte City.