Union blanks Northgate in Class A Big 7 Conference

Saturday, September 15, 2018 | 10:08 PM

After winning their season opener in Week Zero, Union had been burned the past two weeks as they were outscored in losses to Cornell and Sto-Rox, 84-0. But on Saturday, the Scotties doused the Flames and pitched a shutout of their own at Northgate.

Freshman Jackson Clark rushed for 82 yards and scored three touchdowns as Union rolled to a 39-0 victory for their first Class A Big 7 Conference win of the season. The triumph evened the Scotties’ record to 2-2 overall.

Despite only dressing 15 players, Northgate started the game with a nice drive that moved the sticks and gave the Flames a first and 10 at the Union 24-yard line.

However back-to-back center snaps over the head of freshman quarterback Davonte Christe ended the drive as Union recovered the second errant snap at the Northgate 45-yard line.

The Scotties wasted little time in cashing in when junior quarterback Tyler Benedict connected with freshman Tyler Staub for a 33-yard score to make it 7-0.

Before the quarter ended, Clark scored on a 6-yard run as the failed point after touchdown was no good.

Benedict took over in the second quarter with his arm and legs as he first hit Staub on a lob pass in the right corner of the end zone from 8 yards out. Benedict then scored on a 2-yard run late in the half to make the score 25-0 Scotties at the break.

“Tyler did what we are expecting of him,” Union coach Stacy Robinson said. “He came out and led the offense, made some good decisions, extended some plays and hopefully he’s getting better. I think he’s headed in the right direction.”

Clark scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, first on a 5-yard scoring pass from Benedict and then on a 4-yard run to put the game into the running clock mercy rule late in the third quarter.

The freshman Clark showed his versatility with three scores, three extra points and he came in to run the offense under center in the fourth quarter, replacing Benedict.

“Jackson has been a great addition,” Robinson said. “He helps balance out Michael (Flowers) so teams can’t key on him the whole time as the focus of our offense. He’s a freshman, but he’s got some natural skill sets.

“I try to over coach. I just give him the ball and let his God-given ability take over. He made some good runs today.”

Northgate’s best scoring chance came in the final seconds of the first half when the Flames had a first and goal at the 5, but a penalty on the Flames pushed them back. After two incompletions, they missed a 26-yard field goal.

Despite the loss, the Flames (0-4, 0-2) battled all the way with many of the starters playing every play in the Saturday heat, a fact not lost on the opposing coach.

“I didn’t know they were down to that for (Saturday’s) game,” Robinson said. “I give those guys credit over there. There’s like 15 warriors playing football for them.”

Flames first-year coach Michael Fulmore knows having seven players out injured and two other unavailable left his team in a tough spot, but he remains optimistic about the team’s future.

“We accept no excuses for our play,” he said. “Our guys accept the responsibility and use the outcome to become better each day. We have a great core of kids who believe and bought into our program.”

Don Rebel is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Don at .

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