One week after surrendering 586 total yards to the Marion Indians, the Union Knights’ defense got a bit of redemption against another Class 3A opponent, leading the way for the team’s first victory on the young season.
It was the Union defense that set the tone for the game and quickly shut down the Vinton-Shellsburg passing game, rendering their offense one-dimensional. Given great field position courtesy of defense and special teams play, the Union offense had no such difficulties. Three first quarter drives resulting in touchdowns began on the Vikings’ side of the field. Deftly mixing running and passing plays, Union quarterback Troy Hanus found Koby Alpers twice for touchdown passes and handed the ball to Kaleb Roach for another, as the Union offense scored 19 points in the game’s first 13 minutes.
Union would pile up another 20 points before halftime, as Roach scooped up a Viking fumble and ran 29 yards for a touchdown, followed by a 53 yard scoring pass from Hanus to Britton Rolison. Alpers’ 2 yard run at the end of the half gave the Knights their largest lead of the game. The Knights would cruise in the second half to claim a 42-14 win.
Union’s home opener on Friday promises to be another test for the defense, as the Knights host an unbeaten Monticello squad that has racked up 83 points in wins over Anamosa and Camanche.