The number says 1 on the jersey, precisely where fans of the Union Knights would rank senior Brady Driscol, whose sterling performance Wednesday night helped Union advance in the Class 2A playoffs and avenge a loss to Center Point-Urbana earlier this season. Everywhere the Stormin’ Pointers looked, Driscol was there. He was a thorn in the side of the Center Point-Urbana (CP-U) offense, picking off four passes. He was equally frustrating for the Pointers’defense, stepping in at quarterback to rush for one touchdown and pass for another.
As champions of District 6, the Knights drew a rematch with the 6-3 team from Center Point, who placed fourth in the rugged District 3 after defeating the Knights 32-12 in September. In that game, it was the Pointers who established an early lead, forcing Union to play catch up.
From the first play from scrimmage, the Knights served notice that this game would be different, as Dylan Bear took an inside handoff on a reverse and sprinted 73 yards with a small convoy of blockers. Twenty-one seconds into the game, Union had a 7-0 lead.
Midway through the first quarter, it was the Union defense that would make the next big play, as Dylan Bear ripped the ball loose from Brandon Kinsey as he fought to cross the Union goal line. With no one in his way, Bear took the ball 98 yards in the other direction. What could have been a tie game suddenly was a 14 point lead for the Knights.
CP-U, though, answered back immediately when JoJo Frost took the Union kickoff 84 yards for the Pointers’ first touchdown. Less than two minutes later, CP-U scored again, as Kinsey powered into the end zone from the one yard line. The Knights, however, got just enough of the ball on the point after try to keep it from crossing the goal post. After one quarter of play, the Knights held a 14-13 lead.
While no points were scored in the second quarter, the period was not devoid of drama, as the teams traded interceptions. Two Jon Boisen passes were picked by CP-U’s Cole Franck and Jace Jirak. The Pointers were unable to capitalize, their final two drives of the half ending with pass plays into the hands of Brady Driscol.
It didn’t get much better for CP-U in the third quarter, as Driscol’s third interception in three possessions gave Union the ball back on their 32 yard line. The Knights used field position to their advantage after both teams’ defenses forced punts. Starting at their 41 yard line midway through the third period, the Knights found the end zone in just three plays, the final on a 46 yard pass from Driscol to Tate Hadachek. On their next possession, the Knights needed just five plays to cover 64 yards. When Driscol sprinted 37 yards up the middle, Union had a 28-13 as the game moved into the final stanza.
The Knights’ defense continued its strong play in the fourth quarter. With just under eight minutes remaining in the game, Driscol snagged his fourth interception near mid-field, allowing the Union offense to take more time off the clock.
Later in the quarter, the Pointers’ offense got on track with a 67 yard drive that ended with a 9 yard touchdown pass. The missed extra point, however, meant the Pointers’ would still need two more possessions to win the game. The Knights made sure that would not happen when the ensuing onside kick was recovered by (who else?) Brady Driscol.
After burning all their timeouts on defense, CP-U got the ball backone last time after a Union punt, but any hopes for a comeback were dashed when Tate Hadachek intercepted a pass, CP-U’s sixth turnover of the game.
With the win, the 8-2 Knights will host New Hampton (7-3) on Nov. 3rd. Following the game, Union Head Coach, Joe Hadachek complimented his team’s effort and acknowledged the challenge awaiting the Knights.
“[I’m] proud of our team tonight. We got out to a great start and then hit some adversity but continued to fight. This team has heart and they play well together. We have a short week and prepare for New Hampton starting Thursday [Oct. 30] morning. They are well coached and fundamentally sound. We need a great week of preparation,” Hadachek stated.