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.


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.


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.


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.


  • 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.


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

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