Scheel-to-Bear combo too much for A-P in Knights' 37-13 rout

Balanced offense key to Knights’ success

By Cheyne Reiter

The 2A No. 6 (AP) ranked Union Knights welcomed traditional 1A powerhouse and No. 3 ranked Aplington-Parkersburg Falcons to La Porte City Friday night and moved to 2-0 after a resounding 37-13 blowout.

Thanks to Jay Scheel and Dylan Bear, the Knights opened a commanding 31-7 halftime lead.

Union opened the scoring in the first quarter – on Scheel’s first of three TD connections to Bear – from seven yards out.

The Knights extended their lead with a dominant second quarter. Union senior kicker Eskild Ericksen nailed a 30-yard field goal prior to an A-P 9-yard touchdown run by QB Cody Ryan to make it a 10-7 game, but the Knights scored 21 unanswered points to close the half.

Scheel’s second TD throw was again to Bear who toe-tapped his feet in the back of the end zone.

The Knights defense forced the Falcons to punt on the following possession. Bear was again involved in the score, blocking the punt, allowing Nathan Harting to scoop-and-score from 11 yards out, making it a 24-7 Union advantage. Scheel then connected with Bear one more time before the break. Bear caught the ball in stride, shrugged off two would-be tacklers and sprinted 54 yards for his third touchdown of the half.

Up 31-7, the Knights were able to cruise in the second half. Brady Driscol was on the receiving end of Scheel’s fourth TD pass – a 14-yard strike in the third quarter.

A-P scored a touchdown late to finish out the scoring.

The Union defense forced A-P to grind out 274 yards on 63 carries. The Falcons threw just seven times, were intercepted twice – one each by Driscol and Tate Hadachek – and totaled eight yards through the air.

Union’s offense was well-balanced, totaling 147 yards on the ground and 176 yards passing.

Jacob Holschlag led all Knight defenders with 13 tackles and one sack. He also led the Union rushing attack with 76 yards on 16 carries.

Union Head Coach Joe Hadachek was pleased with the improvements he saw from week one to week two. “Our offensive line and special teams stepped up in a big-time game against a tough foe like A-P. To get a special teams touchdown is a huge boost in momentum.”

As for his star quarterback Scheel, the coach saw maturity in his game. “Jay had a super game. His decision-making ability improved, and he showed he can be an excellent pocket-passer.”

The Knights did not turn the ball over despite fumbling three separate occasions. A-P played mistake-free football for penalties, while Union racked up nine penalties for 65 yards.

Heading into district play, the Knights sit a perfect 2-0 and take on Central Springs (1-1) in their district opener. Central Springs’ Blake Blickenderfer is the leading rusher in the district, averaging 9.5 yards per carry through two games, along with four touchdowns.

Coach Hadachek expects another grind-it-out approach for the second consecutive week. “They like to pound the ball and chew up the clock. We have to slow him (Blickenderfer) down and avoid big plays.”