The first time Union and Waukon met, the Knights mounted a miraculous come-from-behind 34-33 victory that left the Indians stunned and looking for revenge. Monday night, they got it - and then some - in a 21-14 win over Union in the second round of the Class 2A state football playoffs.
Following their 63-20 win over Mount Vernon in last Wednesday's first-round game, the Knights had to be feeling confident. They were able to rest, and had home-field advantage. But their state title hopes ended in bitter defeat, and saw the departure of several key seniors who made up not only this year's 9-2 squad, but last year's 3A state championship team.
Union was competitive throughout, something that has been a staple of this team all year long. After going down 7-0, the Knights took advantage of a fourth-down offsides call prior to a field goal attempt late in the first half to tie the game on the ensuing possession. Trev Hadachek hooked up with WIll Crees for a 12-yard touchdown through the air.
Justin Carey attempts to break free from a Waukon defender in the second half. Turn to page 6 for more game photos.
Things continued to look up for the Knights when quarterback Jay Scheel faked a pitch and ended up taking an 18-yard run to the house, giving Union a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter. It was the final time the Knights would lead.
Following two Waukon touchdowns, the Knights failed to capitalize on good field position and gave up the ball on downs with four minutes to go in the game. With two timeouts remaining, Union looked to make a defensive stand and get the offense the ball back - but it wasn't to be.
Waukon marched down the field, securing three first downs and running out the clock.
Union will now look to rebuild after losing several seniors. Trev Hadachek, with several scholarship offers to FCS schools, leaves as the team's leading dual threat. Hadachek had 687 yards receiving and six touchdowns on the year to go along with his 471 yards rushing and 11 TDs on the ground.
Andrew Osuna, who emerged in the second half of the season as a quality running back, will also be departing. Osuna finished the year with 641 yards and four touchdowns.
Brady Petersen caught for 330 yards and five touchdowns this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Will Crees will be sorely missed. He accounted for 58 total tackles, including eight solo tackles for loss and a sack on the season. Crees also picked off two passes, returning one for a touchdown.
Tanner Heckt, with 57 tackles and a sack, and Christian Gray, who led the team with 67 tackles, will also be missed, along with many other seniors who were a part of the championship group last year, and this year's squad.
Jay Scheel will be back at quarterback next season and looking to improve his accuracy and decision-making. Scheel threw for 1,593 yards and 19 touchdowns, but also had seven interceptions on the season. He remained one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the state, rushing for 1,291 yards and 20 TDs, and looks to be the team's de facto leader heading into the 2013 season.