BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Missed opportunities and big plays combined to put Union in a hole as visiting Faulkner (Ala.) posted a 59-20 decision on Saturday at Burch/Nau Field.
Union (0-2 overall) dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 35:49. However, Faulkner (3-0 overall) made the most of the time it had the ball as the Eagles clicked off 84 plays for 701 yards in total offense. Union ran 74 plays for 379.
The misfortunes began immediately after the Bulldogs scored the game's first touchdown. Leonard Dixon busted through the line and sprinted 45 yards for the end zone, putting Union up 7-0 with 9:40 leff in the first quarter.
Union attemped to catch Faulkner off guard and tried to execute an on-side kick. Veashawn Springs looked to have recovered the ball right at the Union 45-yard line. However, the officials ruled he touched the ball before it traveled 10 yards, giving Faulkner the ball at the 45. Four plays later, the Eagles scored when Josh Hollingsworth hooked up with Steve Dawson for a 23-yard pass play.
On their next possession, the Bulldogs went three-and-out before punting. Faulkner countered with a five-play, 66-yard drive to grab a 14-7 lead. Hollingsworth hit David Amos for a 35-yard scoring strike with 6:47 still to go in the first.
Hollingsworth added a 36-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Stevenson with 36 left in the opening quarter, giving the Eagles a 21-7 lead.
Alex Sigmon booted 26-yard field goal early in the second to pull Union within 21-10, but Hollingsworth added a 17-yard touchdown pass to Stevenson to send the Eagles into the half up 28-10.
Union had its chances in the opening half, but a couple of dropped passes in the end zone stalled a couple of drives, resulting in no point for the Bulldogs.
Faulkner's high powered offense picked up where it left off in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns during the first eight-plus minutes for a 49-10 advantage. Demetre Baker accounted for two of the scores on runs of 71 and 53 yards. He finished with 160 yards on eight carries.
The Bulldogs accounted for the next 10 points thanks to a 77-yard pass to Tyler Ross and a Sigmon 30-yard field goal. Yet, the Eagles scored the final points of the game, sealing the 59-20 decision.
Dixon led Union's ground attack with 147 yards on a career-high 27 attempts. Quarterbacks Jon Combs and Chandler Whittlesey combined to go 11-of-28 for 177 yards.
For Faulkner, Hollingworth finished the game going 22-of-33 for 275 yards and five touchdowns with an interception.
By the Numbers
- The 100-yard game was Dixon's second of the season and fourth in career. The 147 yards are the second most in his career as Dixon ran for 157 against Pikeville (Ky.) on Nov. 10, 2012.
- Union has rushed for over 200 yards in both games this season and has 508 yards on the year. The Bulldogs ran for over 200 yards just twice in 2012.
- The Bulldogs continue to struggle in the red zone, going 2-for-4against Faulkner. On the year, Union is 5-for-10 in the red zone, while the opposition is 10-for-11.
- Both teams turned the ball over twice, but only Faulkner was able to take advantage of any of the miscues. The Eagles turned a Bulldog interception into a touchdown.
- Faulkner nearly doubled Union in first downs, 32-18.
Union will welcome Webber International (Fla.) to Burch/Nau Field on Saturday. Last year, the Bulldogs edged the Warriors 10-7. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m.