'Inside the Huddle' - Dynamic backfield carries Union to 52-27 blowout of Hampton-Dumont

POWs for Hampton-Dumont game:
OFFENSE: Josh Clark, Jay Scheel, Andrew Osuna
SPEC TEAMS: Brady Petersen
DEFENSE: Will Crees, Tyler Fischels
SCOUTS of week: Drake Rousselow, Bo Bader, Austin Pauling

By Cheyne Reiter

The Union Knights 6-1 (4-0) extended their winning streak to six consecutive games on Friday night with a 52-27 defeat of Hampton-Dumont 2-5 (1-4).

Thanks to two 100-plus rushers on offense and a relentless defense, the Knights raced out to a commanding 42-7 halftime lead.

On Union's second offensive possession, Jay Scheel put the Knights on the scoreboard with a 7-yard touchdown run.

Following a defensive stop, Scheel set up the Knights at the Bulldogs' 10-yard line with a 36-yard punt return. One play later, Trev Hadachek called his own number from Union's "Wildcat" formation and scored, providing the Knights with a 14-0 cushion.

The Knights put the game well out of reach in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 28-7 in the 12-minute period.

An additional Union touchdown after half made the score 49-7 heading into the final quarter. Three fourth-quarter touchdowns by Hampton-Dumont made the game appear closer than expected. A 45-yard field goal by Brady Petersen provided the final score, 52-27.

However, for those in attendance, the game wasn't all that close.

The Knights out-gained the Bulldogs 435-303 in total yards, racking up 320 rushing yards in the process. Scheel carried the rock just six times but was very effective totaling 113 yards and four touchdowns. Andrew Osuna joined Scheel in eclipsing the 100-yard mark, rushing for 112 yards on 11 carries and one score. Sophomore Max Thomsen chipped in a hard-fought 63 yards as well.

While the Knights were extremely impressive with the ground game, they were equally as impressive through the air. Scheel completed 8-of-10 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown - a 20-yard strike to Hadachek.

One week after setting the school-record for most first downs in a game with 26 versus Waukon, the Knights nearly matched that total with 23 against Hampton-Dumont.

On the other side of the ball, the Knights bottled up the Bulldogs - six individuals recorded a tackle for loss. Union's Dalton Crosser was the beneficiary of a Bulldogs fumble, recovering the lone turnover in the game. Christian Gray led the Union defense with 7 total tackles, 2.5 of those being for a loss.

Knights kicker Brady Petersen made a name for himself on special teams in 2A - the senior drilled a season-long 45-yard field goal and was also 6-of-6 on PATs.

The dominant victory sends the Knights into a highly-anticipated matchup with undefeated New Hampton. Both squads are 4-0 in district play and a win would all but guarantee a district championship and No. 1 seed entering the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in New Hampton. The Knights last traveled to New Hampton in the second round of the 2009 playoffs, losing 29-22.