The Union Knights 4-0 (2-0) remained unbeaten Friday night in Osage with a convincing 33-6 win over the Green Devils 0-4 (0-1).
Union RB Jacob Holschlag's legs and WR/CB Brady Driscol's hands - both on offense and defense - lifted the Knights to their fourth victory in as many weeks.
The Knights jumped on their opponent right from the beginning with 14 first-quarter points. Holschlag burst across the goal line from 3 yards out to put Union up 7-0 and moments later, Jay Scheel connected with Kolten Bader for a 52-yard TD.
Osage made it a one-score game in the second quarter with their first - and only - touchdown of the night. Green Devils' QB Collin Havel threw a 79-yard strike to Thatcher Goodale to make it a 14-6 ballgame.
However, the Knights' secondary made up for their lone mistake in a big way. They intercepted Havel four times - two more by Driscol - and allowed 194 yards on 13-of-29 completions. Driscol leads the Knights and all of 2A with six interceptions in four contests, and Union leads 2A with 12 interceptions defensively, well ahead of Spirit Lake who's second with nine.
While Driscol was preventing any Osage comeback attempt on defense, he also had an impressive, efficient night on the other side of the ball. The Union junior caught two touchdowns - his only two receptions of the night - from Scheel in the second quarter from 2 and 9 yards out, sending the Knights into half with a 27-6 advantage.
After the break, the Knights were able to establish a rhythm offensively but could only punch it in for a score one time. Holschlag scored his second touchdown of the night on a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter to finish out the scoring. The Knights' tailback led all ball carriers with 122 yards on 24 carries and two scores.
Scheel completed 14-of-25 passes for 196 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw his second interception of the season. Kolten Bader torched the Green Devils' secondary with seven catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Holschlag led the Union defense with 11 tackles and Gavin Eastman added six tackles, two being for a loss. Bader also snagged his first two interceptions of the season. Overall, the Knights limited the Osage attack to 249 yards of offense and forced six total turnovers.
The Knights racked up 443 yards of offense, 247 of them coming on the ground, but had trouble scoring in the second half. Head Coach Joe Hadachek gave credit to Osage.
"Osage always gives us fits. Last year we had to pull away in the second half to get a victory. This year, the script was flipped; we built a lead early and were able to hang on."
The Knights face a tough test Friday night for Homecoming. Cascade 3-1 (2-0 2A D4) comes to La Porte City for a crossover district matchup. Despite having no common opponents, Hadachek has a pretty good idea of what to expect.
"They run a spread offense and are very well-coached. They'll get after you defensively, and we expect a good challenge Friday night."