MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Union closed out the 2011 season with a bang but came up just shy of getting the victory, losing 95-89 in triple overtime to host Faulkner (Ala.) in Mid-South Conference West action.
The combined 184 points shattered the NAIA record for most points in game. In fact, the 75-75 score at the end of regulation bested the previous record by nine points. In 1994, Southwestern (Kan.) defeated Sterling (Kan.) 79-62.
Bulldog running back Rob Brown (Daytona, Fla.) posted a career day with 229 yards rushing and 110 yards receiving on five receptions. He set a school record for most touchdowns scored in a game (6 - four rushing and two receiving) and most points scored in a game (38 - six touchdowns and one 2-point conversion). While his 32 carries are a career high, Brown missed the single-game record by one. James Fletcher ran the ball 33 times against Tennessee Wesleyan in 1985.
With the 229 yards rushing, Brown became the fifth player in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season as he finished with 1,110 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 218 carries.
Faulkner (3-7 overall, 1-6 MSC West) set a NAIA record for most touchdowns in a game with 14. The previous record was 12, which was held by Union (1994) and Concordia-Moorhead (Minn.) (1977).
Faulkner quarterback Josh Hollingsworth passed for a NAIA record 637 yards on 48-of-63 passing. The previous record was 636 by Don Fellows of Huron (S.D.) in 1995. Hollingsworth also threw seven touchdown passes with Chris Kordakis and Courtney Pete each pulling down three.
On the ground, Faulkner running back Brandon Cheatham rushed for 130 yards and five touchdowns on 21 carries.
Union quarterback Ryan Moses (Williamsburg, Ky.) had a career day of his own as he completed 20-of-30 passes for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Sterlin James (Citra, Fla.) finished with four catches for 90 yards and two scores.
The Bulldogs finished the year 2-9 overall and 1-6 in the MSC West.
In all, the teams combined for 1,489 yards in total offense. Amazingly, all but one touchdown was scored from scrimmage on offense. The lone exception was a 69-yard fumble return by Chris Pinnock (Cincinnati, Ohio) which give Union a 28-21 lead with 5:10 left in the second quarter. No special team touchdowns were recorded. In fact, outside of all the PATs and 2-point conversions, the only points scored on special teams stemmed from a 24-yard Chad Boyington (Stockbridge, Ga.).
The score was 14-7 Faulkner after the first quarter. But the teams combined for 59 points in the second quarter alone. Boyington's field goal gave Union a 31-28 lead with 56 seconds to play in the half. But the team's weren't done scoring in the half.
Hollingsworth hit Don Hill for a 63-yard touchdown play with 29 seconds to play. To which, Moses answered with a 63-yard pass to Brown to put the Bulldogs up 38-35 at the half.
Twice Union held a two-score lead. The first one came when Union opened the half with a Brown 7-yard scoring run to put the Bulldogs up 45-35 with 13:03 left in the third.
The 10-point margin was short-lived as Faulkner scored back-to-back touchdowns for a 49-45 advantage. The third quarter ended with a pair of Union touchdowns to make it a 59-49 contest.
Even though Union led for much of the game, it was the Bulldogs who had to score late to force overtime. Down 75-67, Brown scored on a 13-yard run with 14 seconds still on the clock to make it a two-point game. Moses then hit Josh Winkle (Christianburg, Va.) for the 2-point conversion to tie the game.
Both teams scored touchdowns during the first two overtime periods to make it 89-89. Faulkner took a 95-89 lead on a Hollingworth touchdown pass to Kordakis.
Union's hope for victory came to a crashing halt when Brown was stopped on fourth-and-two at the Faulkner 17.
Pinnock finished with a career-high 11 tackles to go along with the 69-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Chandler Priest (Loganville, Ga.) only rushed for 16 yards but had two touchdowns on the day. Moses also had one rushing touchdown to his credit. Winkle finished with six catches for 97 yards.