CEDAR FALLS — It was a Class 2A football semifinal to remember as a defensive battle was won by the Williamsburg Raiders Saturday night at the UNI-Dome.

The Raiders’ defense forced three turnovers, turning two of them into points, as they defeated the Union Community Knights 28-14, and advanced to the finals to face Waukon.

Defenses ruled in the early stages of the game, as neither team could successfully move the ball.

It took a defensive turnover by the Knights to get the scoring started.

Brayden Grosse stepped in front of a Gage Blythe pass and picked it off returning to the 21 yard line. Five plays later the Knights made the Raiders pay as Koby Alpers banged through the middle for a five-yard scamper and a 7-0 lead.

The play seemed to wake the Raiders offense as well as they followed with a 80 yard, 11-play drive tying the game on a Gage Hazen-Fabor’s jaunt of 23 yards around the right side.

With just five minutes left in the first half the Knights took the lead with 29 seconds remaining.

Knights quarterback, Troy Hanus sent five recievers wide spreading the defense then scampered to his left and hurdled two defenders into the end zone.

The second half began much like the first as defenses once again gained control.

The Knights and Raiders went three-and-out on their first two possessions.

The Knights started their third outing from the 15 and were able to muster a pair of first downs before they had to punt.

The Raiders suddenly found a passing game and marched 77 yards, all through the air, tying the contest at 14 a-piece.

“We struggled with our offensive game especially in the second half,” Knights coach Joe Hadachek said. “They got off their blocks better and made the plays and we did not. They changed the momentum with a couple big plays and it was still a game late, but we didn’t move the ball.”

If momentum had not jumped to the Raiders sideline at that point, it did two plays later as Kaden Wetjen picked off Hanus’s pass at the 40 and brought it back to the 34.

The Raiders scored three plays later to begin the fourth quarter on a three yard run by Tucker Stanerson, giving his team their first lead (21-14) of the night.

The Knights offensive woes continued as they went three and out once again giving the ball back to the Raiders.

The Raiders iced the game late turning a Knights fumble into six points and a 28-14 win.

“They turned turnovers into points and we couldn’t get momentum back,” Hadachek said. “Nobody thought we could get to this point but our kids did. I am very proud of all of them.”

WILLIAMSBURG 28, UNION 14

Williamsburg 0 7 7 14—28

Union 0 14 0 0—14

Union—Koby Alpers 5 run (Ben Dvorak kick)

Williamsburg—Gage Hazen-Fabor 23 run (Leighton Jones kick)

Union—Troy Hanus 8 run (Dvorak kick)

Williamsburg—Brandon Blythe 34 pass from Gage Blythe (Jones kick)

Williamsburg—Tucker Stanerson 3 run (Jones kick)

Williamsburg—Hazen-Fabor 12 run (Jones kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

WILLIAMSBURG UNION

First downs 12 9

Rushes-yards 45-177 35-117

Passing yards 164 58

Comp-Att-Int. 8-10-0 10-19-1

Return yards 0 80

Punts-avg. 5-34.6 6-33.3

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-yards 9-58 3-13

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

WILLIAMSBURG—Gage Hazen-Fabor 27-120, Mathyan Powell 3-16, Gage Blythe 7-8, Tucker Stanerson 8-33.

UNION—Kaleb Roach 16-53, Britton Rolison 4-19, Koby Alpers 2-4, Jace Glenn 2-12, Troy Hanus 11-29.

Passing

WILLIAMSBURG—Blythe 8-10-0, 164 yards.

UNION—Hanus 10-19-1, 58 yards.

Receiving

WILLIAMSBURG—Ben Subbert 2-52, Brandon Blythe 5-96, Graeson Trevino 1-16.

UNION—Alpers 2-14, Rolison 2-15, Silver Schmitz 2-20, Roach 4-9.

CEDAR FALLS—It was a Class 2A semifinal to remember as a defensive battle was won by the Williamsburg Raiders Saturday night at the UNI-Dome.

The Raiders defense forced three turnovers, turning two of them into points as they defeated the Union Community Knights 28-14, and now advance to the finals to face Waukon.

Defenses ruled in the early stages of the game, as neither team could successfully move the ball.

It took a defensive turnover by the Knights to get the scoring started.

Brayden Grosse stepped in front of a Gage Blythe pass and picked it off returning to the 21 yard line. Five plays later the Knights made the Raiders pay as Koby Alpers banged through the middle for a five-yard scamper and a 7-0 lead.

The play seemed to wake the Raiders offense as well as they followed with a 80 yard, 11-play drive tying the game on a Gage Hazen-Fabor’s jaunt of 23 yards around the right side.

With just five minutes left in the first half the Knights took the lead with 29 seconds remaining.

Knights quarterback, Troy Hanus sent five recievers wide spreading the defense then scampered to his left and hurdled two defenders into the end zone.

The second half began much like the first as defenses once again gained control.

The Knights and Raiders went three-and-out on their first two possessions.

The Knights started their third outing from the 15 and were able to muster a pair of first downs before they had to punt.

The Raiders suddenly found a passing game and marched 77 yards, all through the air, tying the contest at 14 a-piece.

“We struggled with our offensive game especially in the second half,” Knights coach Joe Hadachek said. “They got off their blocks better and made the plays and we did not. They changed the momentum with a couple big plays and it was still a game late, but we didn’t move the ball.”

If momentum had not jumped to the Raiders sideline at that point, it did two plays later as Kaden Wetjen picked off Hanus’s pass at the 40 and brought it back to the 34.

The Raiders scored three plays later to begin the fourth quarter on a three yard run by Tucker Stanerson, giving his team their first lead (21-14) of the night.

The Knights offensive woes continued as they went three and out once again giving the ball back to the Raiders.

The Raiders iced the game late turning a Knights fumble into six points and a 28-14 win.

“They turned turnovers into points and we couldn’t get momentum back,” Hadachek said. “Nobody thought we could get to this point but our kids did. I am very proud of all of them.”

Williamsburg 28, Union 14

Williamsburg 0 7 7 14 — 28

Union 0 14 0 0 — 14

Union—Koby Alpers 5 run (Ben Dvorak kick)

Will—Gage Hazen-Fabor 23 run (Leighton Jones kick)

Union—Troy Hanus 8 run (Dvorak kick)

Will—Brandon Blythe 34 pass from Gage Blythe (Jones kick)

Will—Tucker Stanerson 3 run (Jones kick)

Will—Hazen-Fabor 12 run (Jones kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

Will Union

First downs 12 9

Rushes-yards 45-177 35-117

Passing yards 164 58

Comp-att-int. 8-10-0 10-19-1

Return yards 0 80

Punts-avg. 5-34.6 6-33.3

Fumbles-lost 0-0 2-2

Penalties-yards 9-58 3-13

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

WILLIAMSBURG—Gage Hazen-Fabor 27-120, Mathyan Powell 3-16, Gage Blythe 7-8, Tucker Stanerson 8-33.

UNION—Kaleb Roach 16-53, Britton Rolison 4-19, Koby Alpers 2-4, Jace Glenn 2-12, Troy Hanus 11-29.

Passing

WILLIAMSBURG—Blythe 8-10-0, 164 yards.

UNION—Hanus 10-19-1, 58 yards.

Receiving

WILLIAMSBURG—Ben Subbert 2-52, Brandon Blythe 5-96, Graeson Trevino 1-16.

UNION—Alpers 2-14, Rolison 2-15, Silver Schmitz 2-20, Roach 4-9.

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