Union football scores program’s most points in a game since 1894 in 76-7 rout of Worcester State

Union's Nicholas Dunneman runs toward the end zone in front of Worcester State's Brodie Jacques at Frank Bailey Field Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Union's Nicholas Dunneman runs toward the end zone in front of Worcester State's Brodie Jacques at Frank Bailey Field Saturday, September 10, 2022.

SCHENECTADY The last time a Union football team scored as many points in a game as the Dutchmen did Saturday against Worcester State, it was nine years before the Wright brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk and a dozen years before the first legal forward pass was attempted in a football game.

So … it’s been a while.

Union’s 76-7 demolition of Worcester State in its home opener Saturday at Frank Bailey Field was the second-highest scoring total in program history, trailing only a 96-0 win over Hamilton on Nov. 10, 1894.

That the Dutchmen did something Saturday that a Union team hadn’t accomplished since Grover Cleveland’s second presidential administration, in the days when football had yet to adopt helmets as a standard safety measure, left senior wide receiver Andre Ross Jr. flabbergasted.

“Oh, my God,” Ross said. “I didn’t know that. That’s big for the team.”

Ross made a bit of Union (2-0) history of his own on Saturday with a 70-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the second quarter. It was his 35th career touchdown reception, breaking a tie with Justin Gallo for the program’s all-time record.

“I’m proud of ‘Dre,’” Union coach Jeff Behrman said. “He’s been through a lot. We’ve had a lot of good moments together, and to see him be able to capitalize on that and get a record that he was tie for is great. But I just talked to him, and he knows there’s a lot of football left this year.

Ross, who caught three passes for 131 yards in his season debut after missing the Union opener a week earlier at Allegheny due to injury, was far from the only Dutchman to star on Saturday.

Union’s offense racked up exactly 600 yards on just 61 plays and converted each of its first nine drives into touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Donovan Pacatte, a Cobleskill-Richmondville High product making his first-ever start at home, was 11 of 15 through the air for 310 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding a touchdown on the ground. Union’s running game piled up 251 yards spread between nine different ball carriers, with Ike Irabor running for two touchdowns and Michael Fiore, Jonathan Anderson and Jon Rust each finding the end zone once.

“It was amazing,” Pacatte said. “Everybody was clicking. It makes my job easy.”

Then there was freshman Nicholas Dunneman, who made two huge plays after Worcester State had tied the game at 7-7 on a 65-yard Dylan Hall touchdown reception in the first quarter.

On Union’s first offensive play after that score, Dunneman took a screen pass from Pacatte, slipped past two tacklers and raced 70 yards for a touchdown to put the Dutchmen up for good.

“It was a big change of momentum,” Dunneman said. “I got two good blocks, cut it up and made a play.”

Two minutes later, Union’s defense forced a punt and Dunneman pulled off an electric 66-yard return, only to be stripped just shy of the goal line.

But, on a day where absolutely everything went Union’s way, the ball popped into the air and right into the arms of cornerback Azarai Lewis — who had been celebrating Dunneman’s return while trailing the play — who safely brought the ball across the goal line.

“Yeah, perfect timing for that,” Dunneman said.

Through two weeks, Union has outscored its opponents 118-34. But, with a trip to Springfield up next Saturday, things aren’t likely to remain as breezy for the Dutchmen as they’ve been so far.

“It’s going to be real tough,” Behrman said. “The level of competition is about to get a lot higher for us.”

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Worcester St. 7 0 0 0 — 7

Union 27 27 14 8 — 76

U — Irabor 5 run (Lau kick)

WSU — Hall 65 pass from Williams (Rodriguez-D’atri kick)

U — Dunneman 70 pass from Pacatte (Lau kick)

U — Lewis 4 fumble recovery (Lau kick)

U — Pacatte 2 run (kick failed)

U — Anderson 14 run (kick failed)

U — Ross 70 pass from Pacatte (Lau kick)

U — Sullivan 22 pass from Pacatte (Lau kick)

U — Fiore 8 run (Lau kick)

U — Irabor 7 run (Lau kick)

U — Rust 9 run (Lau kick)

U — Tolbert 19 pass from Sherman (Sherman run)

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TROY — The Engineeers suffered their first home loss since falling to Union in the 2018 Dutchman Shoes game despite limiting Carnegie Mellon to just 161 yards of total offense.

A Hayden Hairston field goal in the first quarter was the game’s only scoring until midway through the fourth quarter, when a pass by RPI’s Matt Petercuskie was intercepted by Carnegie Mellon’s Logan Young and returned to the RPI 1-yard line, setting up a Ben Mills touchdown run.

RPI finally got on the board when backup quarterback Jake Kazanowsky hit Deen Ninche for a 23-yard touchdown with 1:46 to play, and the Engineers got the ball back with 41 seconds left, but couldn’t get the ball past their own 33 before time expired.

It was a tough day in pass protection for the Engineers, as Petercuskie and Kazanowsky were sacked a combined seven times.

Carnegie Mellon 3 0 0 7 — 10

RPI 0 0 0 7 — 7

CM — Hairston 23 field goal

CM — Mills 1 run (Hanna kick)

RPI — Ninche 23 pass from Kazanowsky (Maric kick)

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Categories: College Sports, Schenectady, Sports, Sports, Union College

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