The Union Knights continued their march through Class 2A District 6 opponents with a 51-0 trouncing of Iowa Falls-Alden on Senior Night in La Porte City on October 10. The shutout was Union’s third consecutive and clinched at least a share of the district title with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Though the Cadets entered the game with just one win, they challenged Union early with new formations on both offense and defense. Despite a no-huddle offense and up-tempo pace, the Knights’ defense was up to the challenge, forcing three first quarter punts that the Knights converted into 17 points. When Union’s first drive stalled at the Cadet 2 yard line, placekicker Dakota Hora booted a field goal from 19 yards for a 3-0 Union lead.
When Iowa Falls-Alden’s second punt bounced high off the turf, Justin Carey scooped it up at the Union 27 yard line and made a fine return to the Cadet 45. Less than one minute later, Isaiah Vaughan found the end zone from 3 yards out for a 10-0 Union lead.
Early in the second quarter, it was Vaughan who crossed the goal line once again, this time flying head over heels near the pylon at the end of a 44 yard run. Union 17, Iowa Falls-Alden 0. The Knights then scored three more touchdowns in the quarter to put the game away. After Vaughan’s third touchdown run, quarterback John Boisen threw touchdown passes of 51 yards to Justin Carey and 7 yards to Tate Hadachek for a 38-0 halftime lead.
The second half was played at an accelerated rate, with the 35 point continuous clock rule being enforced. The Union offense continued to be productive, though, as Isaiah Vaughan dashed 27 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game on Union’s second possession of the third quarter
Senior John McQuilkin accounted for Union’s final score when he burst through the line for a 44 yard touchdown run with just over a minute remaining in the game.
As efficient as the offense was, it was the Union defense that continued its stellar play. Substituing liberally in the second half, the Knights were still able to keep the Cadets from scoring, extending the number of consecutive scoreless quarters for Union opponents to 12. The Knights limited Iowa Falls-Alden to 84 yards rushing on 29 attempts. They were equally stingy in the passing game, allowing just 8 completions on 23 attempts for a meager 55 yards.
Evidence of Union’s improved play during the second half of the season can also be seen in the boxscore line for penalties. After being flagged for a whopping 49 penalties in the first four games, the Knights have committed just 5 penalties in the last three, including zero against Iowa Falls-Alden.
On Friday, the Knights will have an opportunity to measure how much progress they’ve made this season, as they go on the road to face another 6-1 team, the Blue Raiders of Anamosa. Anamosa currently sits atop the Class 2A District 4 standings, tied with a familiar Union foe, Western Dubuque of Cascade. Cascade defeated the Knights twice last season, including a loss that ended the Knights’ season in the state playoffs. On October 24, Union will travel to Eldora for its final game of the season, a District 6 contest against South Hardin.