By Meghan Creane
The Dutchmen Football team got off to a slow start this season, going 0-3 in their first three games. They fell to Salve Regina, Utica and Ithaca respectively in the first three weeks of the season. However, the Dutchmen have managed to pull a complete turn around on their season. They have managed to come away with three wins in their last three games, a feat that is difficult for any team.
A major player in this turn around was Jafar Johnson ‘13, starting defensive back for the Dutchmen. Johnson was named D3Football.com National Team Member of the Week, announced on October 10. Johnson was honored not only for his hard work and performance all season but more specifically his stellar performance in the WPI game on October 6. Johnson leads the team in interceptions with four for 116 return yards, half of which were against WPI. His teammates are proud and confident with Johnson playing on their defense.
Johnson “is a key player in our defense and we are very fortunate to have him back to help our team succeed,” says Sophomore defensive lineman Julian Gendels.
Quarterback Connor Eck was also a huge part of Union’s success against WPI, completing 70 percent of his passes and stretching his streak to 19 quarters without a single interception. Eck was also named to the Liberty League Honor Roll on October 8.
The whole team is incredibly excited at the prospect of their next game, this Saturday versus Rochester, and to continue their three game winning streak. The Dutchmen are now tied with Hobart at the top of the Liberty League, and are eager to hold the top spot.
The Dutchmen can’t take Rochester lightly however, coming off a bye week there is a lot of preparation that must be done.
“It is extremely important that we prepare physically and mentally for Rochester, because we cannot underestimate any opponent,” comments Gendels. The confidence of the team in what they need to do for Saturday instills a lot of faith in the coaching staff and also in the fans planning on attending the homecoming game, which will be “a fun and entertaining game for both the players and fans,” promises Gendels.