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Union overcome by DNH offensive onslaught

September 21, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Dysart Reporter

Shrugging off last week's loss to Charles City, the Union Knights traveled to Dike to take on the 1A Wolverines, falling 22-35 as struggles continue for Union.

"We expected to have biggest challenge thus far in the season," coach Joe Hadachek. "They had 4-5 players who have D2/NAIA offers so they have some talented individuals. No one had scored more than 6 points against them to this point. We expected a physical game and that's what we got."

The stout Union defense was able to hold out DNH until the waning minutes of the first quarter as the Wolverines scored on a five-yard run to open scoring. While the Knights were able to respond with a 20-yard run by Kaleb Roach in the second quarter, the DNH offense continued to roll and respond with two scores to go up 21-8 by the half.

Article Photos

Brayden Grosse had 70 yards on 12 carries in Union’s best running game this season according to Coach Hadachek. Photo by Mary Bauer, courtesy of The Progress Review.

"We let Dike-NH score late in second quarter before half, as I look back that is the one offensive series I would like to have back. we gave them too good of field position and they executed a short drive for a TD."

The third quarter saw neither squad find the end zone, but the fourth quarter was a completely different story. DNH continued to flex its passing game with a 13-yard pass to go up 28-8. Minutes later, Union responded with a one-yard touchdown run of their own and two-point conversion. Realizing time was running out, the Knights looked to Britt Rolison for a big play to put them back in the game.

"After a big fumble recovery for touchdown by Britt we cut the lead in the fourth quarter to 28-22," Hadachek said. "We didn't execute the onside kick properly next and Dike took advantage. They scored a rushing touchdown late in fourth quarter to secure the game"

The Wolverines indeed took advantage of the kick to punch in a 40-yard run and ice the game 35-22 as their defense put Union in check offensively.

"We have made mistakes in our offense, defense and special teams that have cost us points," Hadachek said. "We have a priority to play great defense that creates turnovers, special teams that has game by game advantage, and offense that scores in the red zone. We needed to not give up big plays and do a better job vs the run game on defense, We needed to score more than 50% of time when in the red zone on offense, and limit mistakes in our kicking game. Dike has got a great team and you can't give them good field position. I am highly optimistic we can fix most of the things mentioned. Competition for playing time is always the best motivator."

The Knights were led offensively by Roach with 118 yards on 16 carries, followed by Brayden Grosse with 70 yards on 12 carries and Rolison with 33 yards on six carries. The receiving game was led by Rolison with 32 yards on five receptions and Silver Schmitz with 25 yards on four receptions. Defensively, Rolison also led with five tackles, Kyle Gross with 4.5 tackles and Ben Rempe and Roach with four tackles each.

Subtle changes are expected in the to do "whatever it takes preparing schematically to be better this week" according to Hadachek. Blocking and tackling will be addressed this week as well as special teams.

"One thing i want to be crystal clear about, we win and lose as a team. It's not a unit's fault, or one players fault. Ownership falls on the head coach, i own it. We will find a way or make a way. after [Monday] morning's workout in the performance room i am already confident our kids are ready to move forward."

District play begins nex with Benton Community on Friday, Sept. 21. The Bobcats are off to a 4-0 start after moving down from 3A to 2A this season.

"Benton community is going to be good," Hadachek said."They have a great leader in Kal Goodchild and the bite is back in benton football."



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