The Union Knights drop down to Class 2A was thought by many observers to be an opportunity for an undefeated season. After week one, that's no longer the case.
The visiting Center Point-Urbana Pointers upended the Knights 45-42 with a last-second field goal.
Fans were out in full force for the season's opening game, and hopes were high for both coaches and players. On the offensive end, that certainly showed.
Union football got off to a tough start this season with a home loss to Center Point-Urbana last Friday. The Knights’ offense got rolling early, as evidenced by their final tally of 42 points. Above, Trev Hadachek escapes the outstretched arms of a diving Pointer defender. Below, quarterback Jay Scheel shows some mobility during the first quarter. Below left, Hadachek makes another impressive run, and Christian Gray displays good awareness in making a solid ankle tackle to prevent a first down.
Jay Scheel and Trev Hadachek combined for nearly all of the team's rushing yards. Hadachek ran for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Scheel put up a whopping 244 yards of rushing offense from the quarterback position, including a 38-yard touchdown run. He also threw for 100 yards on 8-of-12 passing with two touchdowns.
Brady Petersen led the team with 49 yards receiving and a touchdown. Brian Dunkelberger also had one reception for a touchdown.
The problem for the Knights came on the defensive side of the ball, something head coach Joe Hadachek acknowledged.
"We have to do a much better job fundamentally of tackling and blocking," Hadachek said. "We'll be looking to make improvements in those areas in the week ahead."
Senior Christian Gray was solid in recording eight tackles, five of which were solo tackles, in the game. Two of those were for a loss. Josh Clark also had a good game with eight tackles, including two for a loss.
The other cause for concern aside from the defense - the heavy reliance on two players for such a high percentage of the offense - was also something Hadachek said the team would be looking to address early in the season.
"Those two guys [Hadachek and Scheel] are obviously the playmakers on our offense, and we need other people to step up," Hadachek said. "It's really by committee right now, so we don't know who that's going to be."
The Knights will now look to rebound against Aplington-Parkersburg, which is currently ranked #3 in the latest Class 1A poll. Hadachek made it clear that the Knights were not taking their next opponent lightly, despite their class.
"Obviously they have a great tradition and a super facility up there, one of the nicest in the state of Iowa," Hadachek said. "Which is something we really strive to emulate here at Union."
Gametime is set for 7 p.m. this Friday in Parkersburg.