PARKERSBURG — With snow and gusting conditions in the forecast, the numbers suggested Aplington-Parkersburg, with its dominant power run game, would have the advantage in its Class 2A postseason opener against Union Friday.
Not so much.
The unranked Knights imposed their will from the start, outgaining the Falcons 299-16 in the first half en route to a 42-0 win.
Kaleb Roach, who gained a season-high 150 yards in the first half, got things started with a 24-yard run on third-and-seven on the opening series. Four plays later, Jace Glenn kicked off the scoring with a 19-yard touchdown run.
Roach, who finished with 230 yards rushing, gave Union a 12-0 lead with a 70-yard score early in the second quarter. He also added a 38-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Roach credited his offensive line for his big game.
“I knew if my line could play to their best potential, we’d have success,” he said. “And they did. It’s all on them.”
The rushing attack got plenty of help from the passing game as quarterback Troy Hanus tossed second-quarter scores of 24 yards to Britton Rolison and 48 yards to Koby Alpers.
The Falcons, meanwhile, couldn’t get anything going offensively, as they didn’t earn a first down until the 8:40 mark of the third quarter. A-P had one productive drive in the third quarter, but it didn’t result in points as Union turned the Falcons away at the 5-yard line.
Sam Thorn, who had rushed for at least 109 yards in every game, was held to 40 yards, which included a 14-carry, seven-yard showing in the first half.
“When things are clicking, we’re tough on defense,” Union coach Joe Hadachek said. “We knew what they could do on the ground and our scout team did a great job of preparing us for that.”
Rolison put a cap on the defensive dominance with a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:24 remaining.
A-P coach Alex Pollock said the Falcons crumbled in the brutal conditions, which saw persistent snow and cold winds in excess of 40 miles per hour. A-P suffered just its third shutout loss since 1992 and was held under 100 yards of total offense for the first time since 1997.
“They were having fun tonight and we looked cold,” Pollock said. “It started right from the start. They were much better prepared than we were and that’s on me. “
After losing 20 starters from last season’s Class 2A runner-up squad, a Union team that had to sneak into the playoffs has the look of a dangerous team going forward.
And while some may be surprised to see the young Knights still in the mix, Hadachek isn’t, crediting his team for peaking at the right time.
“We’ve got guys that have matured,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up. Everybody’s doing their job and it’s been good.”
The Knights move on to face Cascade next week in a rematch of the regular-season finale, a 28-21 Cougar win.
Union 42, Aplington-Parkersburg 0
Union 6 23 0 13 — 42
Apl.-Park. 0 0 0 0 — 0
U — Jace Glenn 19 run (kick failed)
U — Kaleb Roach 70 run (run failed)
U — Britton Rolison 29 pass from Troy Hanus (Ben Dvorak kick)
U — FG Marc Mahood 32
U — Roach 38 run (kick failed)
U — Rolison 48 interception return (Dvorak kick)
First downs 15 4
Rushes-yards 37-315 39-51
Passing yards 100 35
Comp-att-int 6-13-1 7-16-1
Return yards 29 0
Punts-avg. 3-25 8-30.5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 3-24 1-5
UNION — Kaleb Roach 18-230, Britton Rolison 6-54, Jace Glenn 6-23, Troy Hanus 4-6.
APLINGTON-PARKERSBURG— Sam Thorn 27-40, Nick Oldenburger 3-7, Sam Nolte 1-3, Lincoln Johnson 1-2.
UNION— Hanus 6-13-1, 100 yards.
APLINGTON-PARKERSBURG— Carter Cuvelier 7-16-1, 35 yards.
UNION — Koby Alpers 2-67, Rolison 2-27, Glenn 1-3, Silver Schmitz 1-3.
APLINGTON-PARKERSBURG— Coby Hoff 2-9, Thorn 2-2, Aaron Price 1-10, Braden Good 1-8.