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Old 11-05-2017, 12:09 AM
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Default Union 43 St Andrews (N.C.) 42
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. In a game of big plays and several turning points, the fate of the game rested on the foot of sophomore place-kicker Derek Burgett (SO/Somerset, Ky. ).

After a total of three total timeouts with two seconds on the clock, Burgett launched the ball through the uprights to lift host Union College to the 43-42 Mid-South Conference Appalachian victory over St. Andrews (N.C.) on Friday.
"There was never any doubt in my mind," head coach Andre Linn said of the game-winning kick. "I thought giving him those timeouts actually helped him relax himself a little bit more. The only way he's going to miss something like that is if he doesn't relax."

The fact Burgett even got the opportunity for the game-winning kick is a miracle in and of itself.

Down 35-34, Union (4-5 overall, 2-3 MSC Appalachian) dodged a bullet when Carson Gibbs missed a 26-yard field goal, keeping it a one-point game as Union took over on the St. Andrews 20 with 3:31 remaining in the game. However, quarterback Alex Bell (SR/Daytona Beach, Fla.) found himself under duress and tried to dump a screen pass to Izayah Riettie (SO/Lakeland, Fla.). But the pass was tipped and intercepted by Codie Emunson at the Union 15.

On the very next play, Samuel Wright scampered 15 yards to put St. Andrews up 42-34 with 3:17 left.

A holding penalty on the ensuing kickoff forced Union to start on its own 10. Yet, the Bulldogs moved down the field quickly. On the 10th play of the possession, Bell hit Darian Patterson (JR/Taylors, S.C.) in the back of the end zone to pull Union within 42-40 with 1:15 to play. The Bulldogs went for the 2-point conversion, but Bell's pass fell incomplete.

Knowing an onside kick was eminent; St. Andrews put its hands team on the field. Burgett's bounced high kick, which was hit by two Knights before Dalton Edwards (FR/Dawsonville, Ga.) fell on it, giving Union the ball on its own 43.
A Bell 4-yard run and a Riettie 8-yard scamper moved the ball down to the Knight 45. Bell then hooked up with Patterson for three completions of 14, 9, and 19 yards to put the Bulldogs on the 3-yard line with 6.7 seconds left. In the shotgun, Bell called his own number but was stopped at the 2 with two seconds left as Union called timeout to set up for the field goal attempt.

Following two St. Andrews timeouts, Burgett hit his fifth field goal of the year as Union collected the 43-42 victory.

Not only did Union had to battle late in the game, but it also had to overcome an early 13-0 deficit.

"In the past, we would've been like 'oh no' and we'd just lie down," said Linn. But this was the third time we've been down 13-0 or something like that and had to come back and end up with the lead in the third quarter. The resiliency of this team is really good; we've just got to do better at the beginning so we don't have to climb out of hole."

St. Andrews (2-7 overall, 1-4 MSC Appalachian) dominated the time of possession early on as it recorded two scoring drives of over five minutes in the first quarter in building a 13-0 lead.

Bell capped an eight-play, 58-yard drive with a 14-yard run to pull Union within 13-7 with 10:13 to go in the half.

After the Knights reclaimed a 13-point lead, Riettie took over as he accounted for the next three scores. He ripped off a 55-yard touchdown run to make it a 20-13 game, and with 27 seconds left in the half, he scored on a 43-yard screen play to make it 20-20 at the break.

The screen pass appeared as if it would not amount to much as Riettie caught the ball in traffic. Yet, he showed great patience in allowing his teammates to create a hole for him to squirt through to a wide-open field en route to the end zone.

"He always does a good job of cutting forward when he makes moves, and that's always beneficial for him. He's always moving forward," Linn said of Riettie, who finished with 122 yards rushing and 40 yards receiving.
Union opened the second half with a six-play, 78-yard scoring drive with Riettie punching the ball in from 4 yards out. After the PAT, the Bulldogs led 27-20 with 11:48 to go in the third.

The teams traded touchdowns as Union led 34-27 with 1:25 remaining in the third. Union reclaimed the seven-point advantage on a 33-yard scoring pass to Tyler Toombs (JR/Stone Mountain, Ga.).

St. Andrews looked like it was going to tie the game early in the fourth when Jacob Rushing scored on a 38-yard run. Yet, the PAT was blocked, but the ball was recovered by the holder Kacey Otto, who fought his way into the end zone for the 2-point conversion to make it 35-34 Knights with 11:48 to play.

And the Knights' crazy PAT proved to be precursor to the madness to come.
Union outgained St. Andrews 585-472 in total offense despite the face St. Andrews ran three additional plays and held the ball for nearly 35 minutes.
Bell continued to impress as he threw for 276 yards and three scores and ran for a career-high 127 yards and another touchdown.

"He's done a great job all year," Linn said of Bell. "It seems like we're having this conversation after every game. He's just relaxed; he doesn't get rattled, and he just plays ball."

After this performance, Bell became the 12th player in program history to throw for over 2,000 yards in a season as he now has 2,149. He is also the sixth player to amass 20 touchdown passes in a season, owning 21 on the year.
Patterson hauled in a season-high six passes for 76 yards, while Toombs had two catches for 50 yards.

While it allowed 472 total yards with 347 coming on the ground, the Union defense came up big when needed. The Bulldogs logged 2.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for a loss to go along with four pass breakups and one blocked kick.
"Coach (John) Gray has done a great job all year with the defense and their schemes," Linn said. "A lot of it today was we were there to make the tackle, but we've got to make it. But when we needed (the big play), they made it."
The Bulldog coach added, "I really appreciate my staff. The staff has been working hard and working through injuries. Nobody's fallen off or slacking off, and my staff is doing a wonderful job."

Up Next
Union will close out the season on Saturday when it plays host to Point (Ga.) in another conference showdown. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.

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Old 11-05-2017, 04:48 PM
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