For the second straight week, the Union Knights played a competitive first half of football, going into the locker room trailing visiting North Fayette Valley by just seven point, 13-6. The Tigerhawks’ physical running game took its toll in the second half, wearing down a game Union defense to cruise to a 39-14 victory over the Knights.
Union found the end zone first when Jacob Carey stepped in front of a Tigerhawk receiver to pick off a rare North Fayette Valley pass attempt. With plenty of daylight in front of him, Carey raced 64 yards for a touchdown and an early 6-0 lead for the Knights.
North Fayette Valley responded with a 14 play, 79 yard drive that culminated in a five yard touchdown run to give the Tigerhawks the lead, 7-6. North Fayette Valley would add another score with just seven seconds remaining in the half to extend the lead.
While the Tigerhawk running game found traction after the early aerial miscue, the Union offense could not get it going. Several snaps over the head of the quarterback resulted in drive killing losses of yardage that put a big dent in Union’s rushing statistics. For the game, the Knights ran the ball 25 time for an astonishing -25 net yards, with quarterbacks Grant Behrens and Brandon Tompkins combing for -77 yards rushing.
With a two-to-one advantage in number of plays run (72 for North Fayette Valley, compared to 36 for Union), the Tigerhawks began eating up chunks of yards on the ground in the second half against a weary Union defense. The result was four more scores for the Tigerhawks and a 25 point margin of victory.
One of the bright spots for the Knights in the second half was an electric kick off return by Jordan Carey who, after gathering the ball in at the 6 yard line and easing forward looking for a crease, turned on the jets when he found one. Seconds later, Union had a special teams touchdown to accompany one scored by their defense.
Union will travel to Charles City of Friday for the team’s third consecutive non-district game, this one against the Class 3A Charles City Comets. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 PM.