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Union reigns king over Roland-Story 44-8 for Homecoming

October 4, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor (cjeilers@traerstarclipper.com) , Dysart Reporter

The Union Knights football program scored another dominate win on their own turf as they hosted Roland-Story for Homecoming, handing the Norsemen a 44-8 loss.

"On paper, they have good-sized kids and have six guys committed to playing in college, one to Iowa State, so we were thinking this would be a decent game to compete," coach Joe Hadachek said. "Our guys played as well as they could and they key is we are getting better."

Receiving the ball first, the Knights marched down the field for a three-yard touchdown by Brayden Grosee on the opening drive of the game and hardly looked back in the first half. Union would find the endzone moments later with a one-yard score by Homecoming King candidate Kaleb Roach. The second quarter saw the senior running back score twice on similar runs to put Union up 28-0 with less than three minutes left in the half.

Article Photos

PHOTO: Brayden Grosse had two touchdowns for the Knights as they dominated Roland-Story 44-8 on Homecoming.

"He's showing everyone endurance on those chunks of yardage he gets," Hadachek said. "He gets into those grooves and the front did a good job of helping him."

The subsequent kickoff was caught by the Norsemen on the 15, but enough room to operate as they scored their only touchdown off that return for 85 yards to make the score going into the locker room 28-8. With that special teams lapse and a significant lead, Hadachek

"I was telling them in the locker the game wasn't in hand even with the scoreboard that way and we had to come out with fight," Hadachek said. "I'm proud of our seniors because we're talking about getting better at the midpoint of the season and want to play four more games for postseason. It's still a one-game-at-a-time mentality they have really bought into."

The second half was all Union as the running game of Grosse and Roach continued to pound the Norsemen defense and even their offense with a safety halfway through the third quarter. The Knights then punctuated with a five-yard touchdown by Grosse on their next drive in quarter to get up 37-8. Roach's fourth and final touchdown on an eight-yard run started the continous clock as Roland-Story failed to pierce the Union defense.

"Roland Story struggled due to Union's stingy defense and had zero first downs at halftime and only three in the entire game," Hadachek said. "Three downs and out gave us great field position as a key to this football game."

Roach led with 149 yards on 31 carries, followed by Britt Rolison with 34 yards on six carries and Grosse with 24 yards on eight carries. Silver Schmitz took charge of the receiving corp with 70 yards on seven carries. While Rolison didn't see his name in the scoring column, the senior continued to make an impact offensively with 68 yards on five carries to hit 100 yards on the night. Dylan Felderman threw for 189 yards on 16 completions and one interception.

"I believe we got off to an excellent start because our offense was executing, mixing it up and getting chunks of yardage," Hadachek said. "Our offensive line did a tremendous job."

The "stingy" defense was led by Ben Rempe with 4.5 tackles, followed by Kyle Gross and Bryce Parker with 3.5 tackles. In total, Roland-Story was allowed 80 yards ib 36 plays compared to Union with 404 yards on 73 plays.

"We just are committed to getting better," Hadachek said. "As well as we played tonight, things can be better. We are going to ride these seniors through the rest of our season on their leadership and allowing our younger guys to develop. I'm extremely proud of our freshman/sophomore and JV teams as they continue to improve. That's the future for us."

In addition to celebrating the future, Hadachek and the Union community welcomed back members of the 2011 3A Championship team for Homecoming during halftime. The champion Knights went 12-2 on the season as they claimed Union football's first championship, completing 56.4 percent of their passes 181 passes and 3518 rushing yards on 540 for 64 touchdowns on the seaosn.

"The 2011 team broke the mold and set what's possible for Union athletics," Hadachek said. "Being the third smallest team in 3A competing against Decorah, Solon and other great teams, that was a special team. That all started with youth football and they stuck together. There were some great leaders and great athletes in that class along with a great staff. It was an epic moment in Union history."

Former Union wrestler Logan Thomsen was recognized next for his achievements as a wrestler for the Union wrestling team. In bringing up the 2011 team, Hadachek reflected on the similarities briefly, but wouldn't go as far as finding it fair to compare the two different teams.

"We talked about having a 4-2 record right now, which is identical to where that 2011 team was at this time in the season as well," Hadachek said. "We had some injuries, but I won't compare them to that team. The journey is similar."

Both honorees and the team were supported by the largest crowd of the season as they celebrated Homecoming. 2018 Homecoming King Mason Scott and Queen Holly Wandschneider were recognized during the ceremony, along with the rest of the Homecoming court in which all four guys were a member of the football team.

"I'm proud of our kids, proud of our coaching staff and we finally got the crowd these kids deserve," Hadachek said. "It's been a great week for Homecoming."

The Union Knights will continue District play as they travel to Vinton-Shellsburg (0-6) on Friday, Oct. 5. Union is currently 4-2 (2-0) on the season.

 
 

 

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