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Knights silence Vikings on Homecoming 13-0

October 18, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

Union celebrated a successful Homecoming this week and their first home win of the football season on Friday, Oct. 11 as the Knights shut Vinton-Shellsburg out of the end zones on multiple drives on a cold, windy night.

"I'm very impressed with our guys who were able to step up on the defensive side," coach Jared Pospisil said. "We knew Vinton was a fast team, throw a lot of misdirection to throw teams off. They have a really physical defensive line that threw us for a loop."

The Knights would open up scoring late in the first quarter with a 22 yard touchdown pass from Brandon Tompkins to Marc Mahood, getting a cold Union crowd warmed up early.

Article Photos

Hunter Heitmann runs the ball against Vinton-Shellsburg during Homecoming on Friday, Oct. 11. The senior linebacker also have four tackles in the win.

"Marc in the past has been relegated to kicking duties, but we asked him to step up offensively and he has relished this chance. He's having fun and I love to see that."

While the run came alive for the Knights with nearly 120 yards on the ground, it would be the passing game that pushed the home team to a 13-0 lead as Homecoming King Brayden Grosse scored on a 21 yard play.

"It's exciting that Brayden got Homecoming King," Pospisil said. "He's battled illness all week, but he came through for us."

While Pospisil recognized it was a special week for Union and his players, there was still a second half to be played. A sudden shift in momentum favored the Vikings as the Knights offense was stopped cold on several early drives.

"We had the run game dialed in that first half and I feel [Vinton] made some adjustments at halftime," Pospisil said. "We need to go to film to see what we can do for next time to keep that momentum going."

The Vikings found themselves in the red zone on multiple occasions, looking to chip away at the Union lead. When they were needed the most, the Knights defense dug in three goal line stands in the second half, intent on moving past early losses caused by late surges from opponents.

"We have looked at each loss as growing experiences against some great teams," Pospisil said. "You can see we are progressing both offensively and defensively from those losses. We made some big goal line stands tonight and that's something we are going to need later on in the season. I was very happy with the effort tonight."

Grosse led the Knights offensively with 90 total yards (62 yards rushing, 28 receiving), followed by Brandon Tompkins with 45 yards rushing on 14 carries and 62 yards passing on six completions.

"Brandon is a very tough kid and never gets down," Pospisil said. "He's had a great year on offense, but he made some big plays on defense this game. He really pulled through for us."

Defensively, Tompkins had 6.5 total tackles and an interception in the fourth quarter to help the Knights maintain their shutout. Josh Hines and Dacoda Marvets each had 5.5 tackles, and Jordan Carey had 4.5 tackles.

The Knights are currently 2-5 overall and 2-1 in District 7 play alongside Benton and Nevada, one game behind West Marshall at the top.

"This District is still wide open," Pospisil said. "We need some things to happen that are outside of our control, so we're going to go one game at a time. That's all we can do."

Union will hit the road on Friday, Oct. 18 at Nevada and wrap up their regular season hosting West Marshall on Friday, Oct. 25.



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