A comeback for the ages. That's how Union's 34-33 victory over previously undefeated Waukon will be remembered.
There was a packed house on hand to see the Knights in what was billed as the game of the week by KWWL, and it turned out to be that and much more. Union rallied from a 33-14 deficit in the final seven minutes of the game to get the win, setting a team record for first downs and electrifying the crowd in the process.
The first half was one of frustration for the Knights, who gave up an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. Jay Scheel did manage an 11-yard touchdown run, and Brady Petersen chipped in a field goal during the second quarter. At the break, Union trailed 14-11.
Above, Union’s Will Crees makes a play to break up a pass in the second quarter. At top, quarterback Jay Scheel eludes the outstretched arms of a Waukon defender on a touchdown run. At left, Brady Petersen makes a move after a reception.
Following more Waukon offense in the third quarter, it looked as if the Knights were in line for their second loss of the season, but they would have none of it. Midway through the fourth, Union recovered a muffed punt and capitalized with touchdown run by Max Thomsen.
The defense stepped up big on the ensuing Waukon possession, forcing a fumble deep in opposing territory, leading to a touchdown run by Andrew Osuna from one yard out.
Following another three-and-out by the Knight defense, the offense took the field with a chance to tie the game. Scheel hooked up with Mitchell Dierks on a perfect pass from five yards out to tie up the game at 33-33, with Petersen kicking perhaps the most pressure-packed extra point of his career.
The defense bent - but didn't break - on the final Waukon possession as the clock expired, giving Union the well-deserved victory.
Jay Scheel threw for 111 yards and had three interceptions on the day, but was vindicated with the winning touchdown pass. Scheel also ran for 163 yards and a score.
Andrew Osuna eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, finishing with 118 yards on the ground and an important second-half touchdown.
Mitchell Dierks had perhaps the game's most significant touchdown, the go-ahead score with just a few minutes remaining, one of his three receptions on the day.
Jace Hadachek once again led the stout Union defense with eight total tackles. Will Crees was a defensive force in his own right, recording six total tackles and two for a loss. Tyler Fischels and Tanner Heckt both had tackles for a loss in the contest.
Union will look to keep its' winning ways going with the second of back-to-back home games this Friday night against Hampton-Dumont. H-D is 2-4 overall and just 1-3 in district play. The Knights are now 5-1 with a 3-0 district record. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.