'Inside the Huddle' - Knights Race Past Mt. Vernon in Playoff Opener, 63-20; Rematch set with Waukon

By Cheyne Reiter

The Union Knights (9-1) cruised in their 2A playoff opener, using three special teams touchdowns en route to a 63-20 blowout of the Mt. Vernon Mustangs (5-5) Wednesday night.

Before kickoff, Union head coach Joe Hadachek told his team that they needed to make a statement to the rest of Class 2A.

Jay Scheel provided the opening remarks.

Scheel, inserted as the deep man -- for the first time -- on the kickoff return team, caught the ball at his own 9-yard line.

91 yards later, it was 6-0, Union.

The scoring had only just begun.

Union's stout defense held the Mustangs on their opening possession to a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, Trev Hadachek tracked the ball to his own 31-yard line. With a wall of blockers to his right, Hadachek sprinted 69 yards for the score - his first of five scores on the night. Just minutes into the game, the Knights led, 14-0.

While Union's return units were spectacular in the early going, the kickoff team was suspect. The Mustangs' Conner Schaffer did his best Scheel-imitation, racing 96 yards to silence the Union crowd, cutting their deficit to seven.

The first half track meet, however, was far from over.

Hadachek scored his second touchdown of the night from the Wildcat formation, pushing the Union lead back to two touchdowns. Mt. Vernon would answer with a scoring drive of their own, capped off by an 8-yard run by Marshal Tuerler.

Up 21-13 and still in the first quarter, Union sophomore Justin Carey housed another kickoff return -- his second in as many weeks -- to push the lead back to two scores.

After just one quarter of play, the scoreboard read Union, 28; Mt. Vernon, 13.

In the second quarter alone, it was the standout senior for Union - Trev Hadachek - who would ultimately put this game out of reach.

The D1-prospect outscored the Mustangs himself, scoring three total touchdowns. The first came on an errant pass as Hadachek jumped a route in the flats and went untouched 36 yards the other way. Hadachek later caught a 38-yard touchdown catch from Scheel, putting the Knights up big, 42-13. Following a second Tuerler touchdown from Mt. Vernon, Scheel got into the scoring act again with a 17-yard keeper.

With attention focused on Scheel for a majority of the season with multiple D1 offers, it was Hadachek who reminded fans and scouts that he's a special player as well.

A highlight-reel, Sportscenter-worthy, one handed catch by Hadachek summed up the senior's terrific night. His father and coach, Joe Hadachek, was in awe by his son's performance - 250 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns, scoring four different ways.

"Great players make big plays in big games. It was obviously a breakout game for Trev," said Hadachek.

The senior called his own number after the spectacular grab, finishing off the first half scoring with a 4-yard Wildcat keeper.

24 minutes into the game and a combined 76 points were on the scoreboard. Fortunately for Union, 56 of the 76 were on their side.

The second half saw just one score altogether, mainly due to the continuous clock. The score came on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Scheel to Dylan Bear.

On a night where the Knights eclipsed the 60-point barrier, resulting in multiple players having gaudy statistics, the focus quickly turns to Waukon. The Indians (8-2) blanked Center Point-Urbana, 35-0, in a dominating performance without their star halfback and linebacker Marcus Weymiller.

"We expected Waukon to come away with a victory. However, we didn't anticipate them shutting out CP-U, a very good football team who beat us in week one. In our case, it will be extremely difficult to beat a good team (Waukon) twice in one season but we're prepared for it."

Hadachek also said they would prepare as if Weymiller were 100 percent.

"He's a good back, makes the most of his 10-12 touches per game. We can't turn the ball over five, six times, and expect to win. Our special teams units have done an excellent job relieving the pressure for our offense, and that may be the key to success Monday night."

Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. in La Porte City. The winner will advance to take on the winner of Dyersville, Beckman - New Hampton.