The Union Football team opened up Liberty League play on Saturday when they faced off against the St. Lawrence Saints. Union entered the game winless, after going 0-3 in non-league play to open up their season. The losing streak continued on Saturday when St. Lawrence downed the Dutchmen by a final score of 42-23.
Despite outgaining St. Lawrence 386-339 on offense, Union fell victim to six interceptions, including two that were returned for touchdowns by the St. Lawrence defense. The game turned midway through the second quarter, while Union led 10-7, when the Saints took advantage of a short field goal attempt that Union punter Tyler Barnes ’18 shanked on which set up St. Lawrence at the Union 22-yard line.
Three plays later, St. Lawrence was into the end zone thanks to a Leondre Simmon touchdown reception from Mike Lefflbine. Union’s quarterback, Nick Cascione ’19, opened up the ensuing drive with an interception thrown to Simmon, who promptly returned the interception for a touchdown, giving St. Lawrence a 21-10 lead.
Cascione then showed great resilience when he came back on the next drive and connected with AJ Baker ’16 for an 86-yard touchdown pass to once again make it a one-possession game entering halftime.
The scoring continued to go back and forth when at first St. Lawrence running back Maurice Irby scored his only touchdown of the day, opening the Saint’s lead back up to eleven points. Following that, Cascione found Dutchmen tailback Jermaine Carn ’17 on an 11-yard touchdown pass; after a failed two-point conversion, the score stood at 28-23, in favor of the Saints, early in the fourth quarter.
St. Lawrence began to pull away midway through the fourth quarter when it started a drive from the Union 36-yard line after the Dutchmen failed to convert on fourth-and-one. The Saints then faced their own fourth-and-one on the fifth play of their drive. Utilizing the wildcat formation, St. Lawrence tight-end Mitch Gallagher took the direct snap and fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to fellow tight-end Matt Gardiner to extend the Saints lead to twelve points.
Late in the fourth quarter, with Union still down two possessions, but now driving into St. Lawrence territory with under two minutes to play, Dutchmen quarterback Dante Cioffi ’18 misfired and was intercepted by Saints defensive back Israel Squires, who proceeded to return the interception all the way into the end zone for the score. Squires tallied the final score of the game, as St. Lawrence would go on to win by a final tally of 42-23.
Notable performers for Union included wide receiver Baker, who had a career high 141 yards receiving on five catches and tailback Carn who led the way for Union rushing with 98 yards on just fourteen carries, averaging 6.3 yards per touch. Carn also added 35 yards receiving out of the backfield on a trio of catches.
The Dutchmen will travel to take on Springfield College on Saturday.