After dropping two very close, non-district games, the Union Knights were looking for a fresh start to their season when they opened district play at home against the Roland Story Norsemen on September 11.
Union wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, taking the opening kickoff and driving 52 yards for a score, capped off by a twelve yard run by Isaiah Vaughan. Following the extra point by Dakota Hora, the Knights had an early 7-0 lead.
Union would get the ball back after forcing a Roland Story punt. Once again, the Knights drove the length of the field, covering 76 yards in less than two minutes. Vaughan’s nine yard touchdown run and sucessful extra point made the score 14-0 with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Union defense continued to hold the Norsemen in check, forcing a punt after Roland Story intercepted a John Boisen pass early in the second quarter. Starting at their 30 yard line, the Knights needed just six plays to find the end zone, as Boisen connected with Vaughan on a 40 yard pass play for Union’s third touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
The Norsemen thought they had their first score of the game when they fielded the Union kickoff and promptly returned it for a touchdown. The points were taken off the scoreboard, though, when Roland Story was flagged for a holding penalty on the play.
The Knights extended their lead to 28-0 on their first drive of the third quarter. On third down at their 42 yard line, Boisen found a wide open Brock Hadachek behind the defensive secondary for a 58 yard touchdown pass.
The Norsemen, however, refused to go quietly in the good night, capping a 77 yard drive with a perfectly thrown pass down the sideline for a 42 yard score. Five minutes later, it was more of the same, as another long pass covered 51 yards, cutting the Union lead to 28-14.
On the Knights’ next possession, Boisen, throwing from his end zone, lofted a pass that hung in the air long enough for Roland Story’s Brett Staton to intercept it. Seconds later, he was in the end zone. In just six and a half minutes of play, what had been a 28 point lead for the Knights was suddenly slashed to seven.
With all the momentum on the Roland Story sideline, Union regrouped, returning to the successful formula of feeding Isaiah Vaughan the football. Union fans wondering if Vaughan could come close to repeating the 263 yard rushing performance of the previous week, watched as Vaughan scored two more rushing touchdowns in the second half to help the Knights pull away for the 41-21 win. For the game, Vaughan rushed for 247 yards on 39 carries, scoring four touchdowns.
With the win, Union shares the top of the Class 2A District 6 standings with two rivals expected to compete with the Knights for the district championship, Aplington-Parkersburg and South Tama.
On Friday, the Knights will travel to Tama for their stiffest test of the young season, the only remaining undefeated team left in District 6, the South Tama County Trojans. South Tama pounded Iowa Falls-Alden 48-0 in their district opener last week.