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Big runs by Wright, Johnson not enough as Bulldogs drops home opener

Published: Sep. 18, 2021 at 11:53 PM EDT
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BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) -What started out as promising for Union College football quickly turned into a long day as the Bulldogs dropped their home opener 50-15 to Bethel University (Tenn.) on Saturday.

The loss evens Union’s record at 1-1, while Bethel improved to 2-1.

FAST START

Union scored on its opening two possessions to grab the early advantage. The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and need only three plays to find the end zone. After netting a combined eight yards on his first two runs, Isaiah Wright broke loose for a 67-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 Union after 13:44 left.

The Bulldog defense came through with a turnover to set up the team’s next score. Riley Herndon intercepted a pass on the Union 29 and returned it 24 yards to give the Bulldogs possession at the Bethel 47. The drive stalled at the Bethel 9, but Herndon booted a 26-yard field goal to make it 9-0.

MOMENTUM SHIFT

Bethel took the lead early in the second and began to amass the points. The Wildcats first scored on a 10-yard run by De’Ontay Tate with 4:11 left in the first to make it 9-7 Union. A 71-yard strike to Dieuly Aristilde put Bethel up for good at 14-9 with 12:19 remaining until the half.

The game appeared to turn over the next two series. Bethel scored on a pick-6 when Vonte Bates returned an interception 32 yards, making it 21-9 at the 11:26 mark. Union then pieced together a 14-play drive. Facing fourth-and-goal at the 2, the Bulldogs went for it but were stopped inches shy of the goal line.

Bethel went on to score the next 29 points for a 50-9 cushion. Se’maj Johnson capped the scoring with a 46-yard touchdown run to make the final 50-15.

STAT OF THE GAME

While Union owned the time of possession as it held the ball for over 36 minutes, Bethel racked up the yards in outgaining the host 632-346. The Wildcats had plenty of big plays as it averaged 10.5 yards per play.

BULLDOG NOTES

  • Wright recorded another 100-yard game, finishing with 144 on 20 carries. He has 395 rushing yards and four touchdowns in two games.
  • Johnson rushed for 60 yards on five carries.
  • Jase Polley averaged 35.3 yards per punt with a long of 49. He also intercepted a pass and recorded three tackles.
  • Both teams turned the ball over three times.

NEXT FOR THE BULLDOGS

Union remains home next Saturday when it hosts Warner University (Fla.). Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.

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