MONTGOMERY, W.Va. - No. 12 Union College continued its winning ways Saturday as the Bulldogs held off host West Virginia Tech 45-27 in a wild Mid-South Conference East battle.
Union is 5-0 overall and 2-0 in MSC East play, marking the first time since 1991 that the Bulldogs won their first two conference games of the season. Union also matches its longest winning streak in program history, having won seven straight dating back to last season. Union also won seven during the 1933-34 seasons and the 1992-93 campaigns.
The loss dropped West Virignia Tech to 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the MSC East.
Freshman quarterback Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) threw for a career-high 266 yards on 16-of-30 passing. He also matched his career high for touchdown passes with four. The 6-foot-1 singal-caller also tossed four touchdown passes in a 35-28 win over then-No. 24 Malone (Ohio) College on Sept. 13.
Turnovers proved to be a deciding factor in the contest as West Virginia Tech turned the ball over four times while Union was mistake free.
The first half was slugfest as neither team could take control.
The Bears drew first blood, scoring with 28 seconds left in the first quarter on an 8-yard pass from Michael Scott to Gary Joshway to make it 7-0.
Union evened the score at the 12:38 mark in the second when Brinkley hooked up with Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) for a 36-yard scoring pass.
With 2:07 remaining in the half, Chris Thomas (Hopkinsville, Ky.) punched the ball in on a 6-yard run to put Union up 14-7. The score was set up by a Michael Clark (Winchester, Ky.) interception as he picked off Scott at the Bear 40 and returned it to the 6-yard line.
The teams doubled their output from the first half in the third quarter alone as Union outscored West Virginia Tech 28-14 in the period to take a 42-21 advantage into the fourth.
Jacob Appleby (Harvest, Ala.) booted a 32-yard field goal with 8:23 remaining in the game to put Union up 45-21.
Scott and Joshway hooked up for the third time in the game to make it 45-27 at the 5:12 mark. This last touchdown pass covered 3 yards. However, Cain Smith (Lafayette, Ga.) blocked the PAT to make the final 45-27.
Union narrowly outgained West Virginia Tech 334-328 in total offense. Pollock paced the Bulldog ground game with 80 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. He also caught one pass for 36 yards and a score. P.j. Burrowes (Middlesboro, Ky.) hauled in five passes for 66 yards and score, while Nathan Ponzer (Covington, Ky.) caught three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown.
For West Virginia Tech, Scott completed 24-of-42 passes for 253 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Joshway caught eight passes for 103 yards and three scores.
Union returns home next Saturday to play host to University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) at 1:30 p.m.
Terence Pollock inched closer to his 2,000th career yards. He now has 1,929 career rushing yards, needing 71 more to become the third player in Bulldog history to amass 2,000.
Mike Brinkley now has 13 passing touchdowns this season in five games. The single-season record is 27, set by Joey Waters during the 2007 campaign.
West Viriginia Tech's 14 third-quarter points marked the first time Union has given up any points in the third period this season. Union has outscored its opponents 62-14 in the third through five games this season.
Union has not trailed this season heading into the fourth quarter. The smallest margin Union has led by going into the final period is seven points, while the most is 21.
Jacob Appleby is a a perfect 21-for-21 on PAT kicks and is 6-for-7 on field goals as he has scored 39 points this season.