The Union Knights 4-1 (2-1) rebounded from a tough loss last week to DeWitt with a high scoring 56-27 win over the Anamosa Blue Raiders 2-3 (0-3). Don't let the score fool you; this game was much closer than the final score. Anamosa, coming off a previous 0-9 season, presented a dangerous passing attack at an inexperienced Union secondary. That inexperience showed on the first play from scrimmage as Nik Schulte connected with his younger brother Josh Schulte for an 86-yard touchdown pass. The Knights trailed 6-0 after the missed PAT.
The Knights answered with a platoon of running backs getting the ball. Wes Burnside eventually gave Union a 7-6 lead after a 5-yard touchdown run and added to the Knights lead with a 14-yard touchdown just moments later. Union led 14-6 but the air attack of Anamosa responded. Following Burnside's second touchdown of the night, Anamosa's Nik Schulte found a wide-open Aaron Krapfl for an 80-yard touchdown pass and after the two-point conversion, the game was knotted up 14-14 after just one quarter of play.
The second quarter saw another Union halfback, Mitchell Dierks, find pay dirt with a 13-yard touchdown carry to put the Knights up 21-14. The Blue Raiders didn't panic and moved the ball efficiently down the field before Nik Schulte called his own number with a 3-yard touchdown run just seconds before halftime. Both teams headed to the locker room tied 21-21 after a very entertaining first half.
Union quarterback Jay Scheel (filling in for the injured Trev Hadachek) and Union's third halfback Andrew Osuna took over in the second half. The Knight defense gave Union a lead they wouldn't relinquish as Shay Fehl intercepted a long Schulte pass and returned it 22 yards for a 28-21 lead. The aforementioned Osuna scored his first of three touchdowns in the second half to give Union a 35-21 lead. A highlight reel punt return touchdown by Jay Scheel put Union up 42-21 heading into the fourth quarter. Osuna added his second and third touchdowns of the night as the three-headed monster rushing attack of Burnside, Dierks, and Osuna totaled six touchdowns collectively.
Aside from eight penalties and three turnovers, the Knights were impressive by scoring from all three phases of play (offense, defense, and special teams). Dierks led all Knight halfbacks with 159 yards on 22 carries and Osuna led the halfbacks with three touchdowns. Jay Scheel completed 7 of 13 passes for 200 yards and an interception in his first career start at quarterback. Brady Petersen was the leading receiver on the night with 98 yards on just two catches. Cole Hinders, Dylan McLaughlin, and Brad Gallup (making his first start of the year) led the Knight defense in tackles. The defense responded by limiting Anamosa to just six points in the second half after allowing 21 points to be scored in the first half.
To put the high potent offenses in perspective, the Knights racked up 521 yards of total offense while Anamosa had 481 of their own, combined for an unbelievable 1,002 total yards.
The Knights will host the district 5 leaders Maquoketa next week at home for homecoming. The varsity game will begin at 7:30 following the 5:15 sophomore game.