'Inside the Huddle' - Union knocks off 3A District 5 co-leaders Western Dubuque-Epworth, 42-17

By Cheyne Reiter

Union played lights out on a night where the lights also went out at the stadium and entire community of Epworth for just over an hour.

Before the hour delay, Western Dubuque's Sam Burds booted a 25-yard field goal to put the Bobcats up 3-0. After the Knights were forced to punt it away on their following possession, Western Dubuque muffed the punt inside their own 30, and Jay Scheel had the scoop-and-score from 22 yards out to give the Knights a 7-3 lead.

Then, the lights went out.

Fans sat in darkness with their cell phones being their only light as they waited for power to be restored.

Once the lights came on just after 9 p.m., Union added a 1-yard touchdown run by Wes Burnside to go up 14-3, still in the first quarter.

In the second, the Bobcats answered with a good mix of the run and pass and capped it off with a 26-yard touchdown pass from QB Nick Tuttle to Hunter Westhoff to pull within four points, 14-10. Union punted on their next possession and the Bobcats Tuttle connected on a 32-yard touchdown strike, this time to Tyler Donovan to give Western Dubuque a 17-14 lead.

Just 7 seconds before half, Union's Burnside added his second 1-yard touchdown score of the night to put Union up 21-17 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.

Halftime adjustments by the Knights coaching staff were on display in the second half as Union buried the Bobcats with three third quarter touchdowns. Trev Hadachek reeled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jay Scheel to give Union a 28-17 lead and Burnside scored his third touchdown of the night, this time from 13 yards out. Tight end Brad Gallup finished out the scoring with a 10-yard touchdown reception from Scheel, and the Knights would go on to win by a final of 42-17.

Offensively, Union righted the ship as they were limited last week vs. Maquoketa. This week, the Knights totaled 383 yards and 15 first downs vs. Western Dubuque. Jay Scheel, making his third consecutive start at QB, completed 6 of 12 passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Burnside broke loose for 211 yards on 23 carries and added three touchdowns. Andrew Osuna also carried 7 times for 65 yards. Hadachek totaled 32 yards on the ground as well as catching four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Gallup also had two catches for 14 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, after allowing 17 first half points, the Knights pitched a shutout in the second. Led by defensive tackle Josh Clark (9 tackles, 2.5 for loss) and linebacker Dylan McLaughlin (8 tackles), the Knights stopped the Bobcats in their tracks for most of the night.

Special teams wise, Union placekicker Brady Petersen was a perfect 6-6 on his PAT's, and the punt coverage unit recovered and returned a Bobcat fumble for an early 7-3 lead.

The Knights now move to 5-2 (3-2 3A District 5) while the Bobcats fall to 5-2 (4-1). Union hosts Marion next week for their final regular season home game. Varsity will begin at 7:30 p.m. following the 5:15 sophomore game.