Prior to the season, Head Coach Joe Hadachek expressed how important it would be for the team to work hard to get better each week for the Union Knights to achieve the goal of making an 11th consecutive postseason appearance. Two losses in the first four weeks of the season have left no margin of error for dreams of making the state playoffs. But based on their performance the last two weeks, it looks like the team is moving in the right direction, as Union followed up a big win over Benton Community with a thorough dismantling of Roland-Story, 44-8.
Methodical. Workmanlike. Such were the words that could be used to describe the Union Knights offense, which at times, has sputtered this season. On Friday night, the Knights were a time of possession monster that ran twice as many plays as their Norsemen counterpart. Running or passing, Union found success both by land and air. Senior Kaleb Roach led the way, darting through the Roland-Story defense with precise cuts on his way to 149 yards rushing, scoring four touchdowns.
The air attack was equally effective, as quarterback Dylan Felderman connected on 16-21 passes, helping the Knights gain 202 yards passing to equal the 202 yards the team gained on the ground.
In the first half, Union scored on four of their first five possessions, finding the end zone on drives of 64, 62, 65 and 26 yards.
In the second half, the unit picked up where it left off, scoring twice more to exceed the 35 point lead necessary to engage the continuous clock early in the fourth quarter.
As well as the Union offense played, the defense was even better, holding the Norsemen to just 80 total yards of offense for the game. Roland-Story’s ground attack was stuffed consistently throughout the game, averaging just over two yards per carry. When opting to pass, quarterback Drake Day had little time to throw the ball, completing just three of twelve pass attempts.
The dominant Union defense limited Roland-Story to just three first downs in four quarters of play and recorded a safety early in the third period.
Roland-Story’s only points came on an 85 yard kickoff return and two point conversion.
With the victory, Union remains tied atop the Class 2A District 7 standings with West Marshall. On Friday night, the Knights will travel to Vinton. The Vikings are still looking for their first win of the season.