BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union and visiting Bethel (Tenn.) put up a pile of video-game statistics as Armond Smith and Mike Brinkley rewrote the record book in leading the Bulldogs to an 84-55 Mid-South Conference West victory Saturday.
All Smith (Stone Mountain, Ga.) did was set the single-game records for most rushing yards and rushing touchdowns as he galloped for 312 yards and five touchdowns on only 16 carries, averaging 19.5 yards a carry.
Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.), meanwhile, set the single-game record for touchdown passes with six as well as the career touchdown passing record with 69. Brinkley also passed for a career-high 345 yards on 18-of-23 passing.
"It was a tremendous effort by our offense," said Union coach Tommy Reid. "I mean, the stats speak for themselves."
In all, Union (3-3 overall, 1-1 MSC West) broke or tied seven school records. The records are:
- Most points scored in the modern era (since 1984) with 84. Previous record was 82 versus Chowan (N.C.) in 1994. Union scored 104 against Sue Bennett (Ky.) in 1928.
- Single-game rushing yards as Smith had 312. Previous mark was by Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) with 231 against UVa-Wise on Sept. 25.
- Single-game rushing touchdowns with Smith scoring five. Previous mark held by Pollock and Clarence Mackey at four.
- Most points scored by an individual with 30 by Smith. Mackey held the record at 26 (four touchdowns and a 2-point conversion) in 1993 versus Tusculum.
- Most passing touchdowns thrown with Brinkley tossing six. Brinkley shared the mark with Greg Duncum at five.
- Career passing touchdowns with Brinkley now having 69, surpassing Joey's Waters' mark of 66.
- Sean Mackey (Reddick, Fla.) tied the record for most touchdown receptions with three, joining Kyle Callahan (against Malone (Ohio) in 2008) and Albert Pellingrino (against Lambuth (Tenn.) in 1986).
The numbers are staggering any way you look at them. The teams combined for 1,501 yards in total offense with Union racking up 854 to Bethel's 647. The Wildcats (2-4 overall, 1-2 MSC West) had 37 first downs, while the Bulldogs had 30. Bethel punted three times, but Union did not attempt a single one.
Yet, the gravity of the insane offensive numbers Union produced cannot be fully digested until you take in account the facts that the Bulldogs ran only 55 offensive plays, averaging 15.5 yards per play, and had the ball for only 22 minutes and 18 seconds.
The Bulldog arsenal was loaded with big plays.
Ten of Union's 12 scoring drives consisted of four plays or less. Eight scoring drives needed either one or two plays for the Bulldogs to find the end zone.
Union moved the ball so well it faced only four third-down situations, converting three.
And as crazy as Union's numbers were, Bethel had some amazing stats itself, especially running back Cordarious Mann.
Mann was the man for the Wildcats as he scored seven of his team's eight touchdowns. The 5-foot-6 back ran for 262 yards and five touchdowns on 27 carries and caught four passes for 67 yards and two more scores.
Bethel reeled off 95 total plays in compiling 647 yards in offense for a 6.8-yard-per-play average. The Wildcats ate 37:42 off the clock.
While the teams combined for 139 points, just eight were scored in the second quarter. The 139 were two points shy of the NAIA record for most combined points scored in a game. Southwestern (Kan.) defeated Sterling (Kan.) 79-62 in 1994.
Union wasted no time seizing the lead, scoring twice within the first 2:21 of the game. The Bulldogs took the opening possession and needed only three plays to find the end zone. Brinkley hit Mackey for a 14-yard scoring play as Union took a 7-0 lead with 13:20 still on the clock in the first. The Bulldogs then recovered a pooch kickoff, taking possession on the Wildcat 29. Two plays later, Smith scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-0 advantage with 12:39 remaining in the first.
Bethel countered by racing 77 yards down the field in four plays. Mann scored on a 13-yard run to make it 14-7 with 11:29 on the clock.
Union responded with a 74-yard pass play to Rob Brown (Daytona, Fla.) to make it 20-7 with 10:22 left in the period.
The scoring cooled off until the final 3:11 of the first quarter. Mann scored on runs of 54 and 42 yards, while Brinkley hit Demetrius Hicks (Frankfort, Ky.) for a 7-yard touchdown pass as Union took a 26-21 lead into the second.
Union registered the only points in the second quarter as Brinkley and Mackey hooked up for an 11-yard scoring pass. Brinkley then caught a pass from Peanut Manns (Ocala, Fla.) for the two-point conversion to give the Bulldogs a 34-21 halftime lead.
In the third, Union reeled off 29 points and led by as much as 63-34 at one point. The Bulldogs picked up touchdowns on a Smith 8-yard run, a Smith 59-yard run, a Mackey 26-yard reception and a Hicks 57-yard reception. For Bethel, Mann scored on a pair of receptions covering 6 and 37 yards.
The fourth quarter saw both teams put up 21 points apiece. For Bethel, Mann scored on runs of 5 and 4 yards, while Troy Watson added a 1-yard touchdown plunge. Union picked up scores on a Smith 55-yard run, a Smith 67-yard run and a Brown 52-yard run.
In all, Smith racked up 403 yards in all-purpose yards as he had 91 kickoff return yards, including a 65-yard return to set up a quick scoring drive for Union in the first quarter.
Brown put up some impressive numbers himself as he rushed the ball three times for 72 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 101 yards and another score. Meanwhile, Mackey caught four passes for 60 yards and three touchdowns, while Hicks had his second 100-yard receiving game in a row with four catches going for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
For Bethel, Watson completed 19-of-34 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Jahron Reynolds pulled down seven receptions for 88 yards.
Union returns to action Saturday at Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.