GRAYSON, Ky. — A balanced offensive attack combined with a big first half proved to be the perfect combo for Union College as it raced to a 43-14 victory over host Kentucky Christian on Saturday.
The Bulldogs scored 27 first-half points and led 34-0 before the Knights (0-3 overall) cracked the scoring column in the third quarter. Union racked up the 43 points thanks to big plays and a good mixture of run and pass. Three of the Bulldogs’ six touchdowns came on plays 50 yards or longer. Meanwhile, Union tallied 557 yards in total offense with 302 on the ground and 255 through the air.
“We played well in the first half and had every thing clicking on all cylinders,” said head coach Andre Linn. “We got a little lax in the second half as we played a lot of guys.”
The win improves Union mark to 2-1 on the year.
Union had two backs rush for a over 100 yards. Ramses Hernandez led the way with 118 yards on 10 carriers. Izayah Riettie followed with 105 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Quarterback Alex Bell completed 16-of-26 passes for 250 yards and three scores. Jeremaine Buchannon caught three passes for 77 yards and a touchdown, while Darian Patterson hauled in two passes for 67 yards and two scores.
Union wasted little time in taking control of the game as Bell hit Patterson for a 62-yard strike in taking a 7-0 lead with 11:30 left in the first.
Both teams had their chances to score more in the first, but neither could find pay dirt. Kentucky Christian fumbled on the Union 2, and Justice Bishop recovered the loose ball for the Bulldogs. On the ensuing drive, Union had it third-and-goal on the KCU 4 when Bell was picked off in the end zone.
The scoring resumed in the second as Union put 20 points en route to a 27-0 halftime lead. Patterson added a 5-yard touchdown catch to make it 14-0, and Riettie scored his first touchdown of the day on a 6-yard run. The PAT was no good following Riettie’s score, so it remained 20-0. With 2:46 to go in the half, Bell hit Buchannon for a 72-yard strike to send Union into the break up 27-0.
Riettie opened the second half with a 50-yard touchdown run, upping the margin to 34-0 with 14:14 remaining in the third.
Kentucky Christian finally cracked the scoring column with 4:04 left in the third when De’Anta Sipp powered his way in from 2 yard outs. On the PAT, Dakota Hines blocked the kick and C’Darius Cateo returned for a defensive PAT to make it 36-6.
Midway through the fourth, Jakwon Roberts hooked up with Hakeem Ellington for a 21-yard scoring play. With the two-point conversion, Union’s lead was cut down to 34-14.
Collin England put an exclamation point on the Bulldog victory with a 5-yard touchdown run with 4:03 to play, making the final 43-14.
Defensively, DeShay Averhart, Jake Averhart, Anthony Kelsey, Tyler Wright each had eight total stops with Justavious Robinson making seven including 1.5 sacks. As a team, the Bulldogs racked up a total of 10.5 sacks on the day.
Union returns home to play host to No. 8 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.