BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - It was a day of records and milestones as No. 17 Union College celebrated homecoming with a 42-24 Mid-South Conference East victory over visiting Pikeville (Ky.) College Saturday.
With the win, Union improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the MSC East, while Pikeville dropped to 1-6 overall and 0-2 in league play. The win guarantees a winning season for the Bulldogs for the first time since 1995.
"It was a good effort by everyone," said Union coach Tommy Reid. "We came out and did a good job offensively, putting the ball in the end zone. The defense played well. We were able to get a lot of young guys in to get some experience."
Senior Kyle Callahan (Covington, Ky.) only caught four passes for 31 yards, but he hauled in two touchdown passes to give him 17 for his career to set the program record.
Freshman quarterback Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) had a very effecient day as he completed 17-of-21 passes for 241 yards and five touchdowns, tying the single-game record for scoring passes in a game. Greg Duncum tossed five touchdowns for Union against Lambuth (Tenn.) University during the 1986 season.
Lastly, junior running back Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) cemented his name into the record book as he became the third player in program history to rush for 2,000 yards in a career. He ran for 161 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, giving him 2,126 career rushing yards. Pollock trails only Scott Russell (2,854 rushing yards) and Clarence Mackey (2,822) on the all-time rushing list.
The Bulldogs dominated the first half, outgaining the Bears 326-60 en route to a 35-3 halftime lead. Union finished the game with a 443-329 edge in total offense. Union substituted freely during the final 25 minutes of the game with second- and third-string offensive and defensive units getting some playing time.
One area of concern for Reid is the number of penalties the Bulldogs were whistled for. Union was flagged 13 times for 119 yards. Conversely, Pikeville committed seven penalties for 72 yards.
"We've got to do a better job with the penalties," Reid said. "That's not the style of football we want to play."
Up 7-0 after the first quarter, the Bulldogs reeled off 28 points in the second in building a 35-3 halftime advantage. Pollock powered the ball in from 13 yards out to make it 14-0 with 14:05 left in the half. With 10:14 to go, Callahan hauled in an 8-yard toss for his second touchdown pass of the day as the lead swelled to 21-0.
Kyle Chilton put Pikeville on the board with a 49-yard field goal into the wind, putting the score at 21-3 with 5:49 remaining.
P.J. Burrowes (Middlesboro, Ky.) pulled down a 23-yard touchdown pass with 3:56 on the clock as Union built a 28-3 lead. Brinkley ended the half by hitting Chris Thomas (Hopkinsville, Ky.) on a 65-yard scoring play, giving the Bulldogs a 35-3 cushion at the break.
Taking the opening possession of the second half, Union marched 65 yards for its final score. Brinkley hit Rolando Dyer (Lawrenceburg, Ga.) for a 29-yard scoring play for his fifth touchdown pass of the game. Jacob Appleby (Harvest, Ala.) connected on his sixth PAT of the game to make it 42-3 with 9:55 remaining in the third.
Pikeville scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Dan Wideman and Chris Walker each had a 1-yard scoring run, while Martrey Littlejohn scored on a 6-yard run with 1:48 to play to make the final 42-24.
Wideman completed 8-of-18 passes for 34 yards while rushing for 59 yards and a score on 13 carries. De'Rail Sims led the Bears rushing attack with 93 yards on 12 attempts. Littlejohn ran for 46 yards on six carries, and Chris Walker ran the ball six times for 40 yards.
The Bulldogs return to action Thursday at Shorter (Ga.) College. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Mike Brinkley now has 20 touchdown passes on the season, marking the third time in program history a quarterback has thrown for 20 or more scores in a season. Joey Waters accomplished the feat twice, tossing 21 touchdown passes in 2005 and 27 in 2007.
Terence Pollock has 753 rushing yards on the season, the most he has rushed for in a year. He also has eight rushing touchdowns.
Kyle Callahan is now the fifth all-time leading receiving with 98 career receptions.
Brinkley has 1,498 passing yards on the season, two shy of becoming the 11th quarterback to throw for 1,500 yards in a season.