The next step in the Liberty League grind for Union football is Ithaca


Phase 2 of the Union football team’s three-game mini-season continues in Ithaca at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The end of the Dutch regular season promised to be a meat grinder that would determine how the playoffs go, and Union’s next assignment, after knocking out Hobart in overtime 27-20 last week, is a game of 1 p.m. in Ithaca on Saturday.

The No.11 / 13 Dutch occupy the top spot in the Liberty League, 4-0 and 8-0 overall, while the No.24 / 23 Bombers just lost 14-11 to RPI which brought them down to 4. -1. in the league and 7-1 overall. Hobart has been knocked out of the title picture at this point but RPI is hanging on to a shot, provided the Engineers can win at St Lawrence (1-3, 4-4) this week and beat Union in the Dutchman game. Shoes to close the regular match. season.

In the meantime, the Dutch are confident they will face an angry team that lost a puntfest to RPI that could have gone into overtime without a missed 35-yard field goal in the last minute.

But Union is also riding a wave of confidence in the tough but energizing victory over Hobart, in which running back Ike Irabor was the grinder and Andre Ross Jr. was the spectacular playmaker with high volume output to the wide receiver.

On the 25-yard overtime line, Irabor carried it six times, including the winning touchdown, which was set up by a pass interference penalty when quarterback William Bellamy attempted to hit Ross in the end zone.

“Honestly, we feel like we’re dictating the game no matter how it goes,” Irabor said after the game. “Close game or not, if we have this ball in our hands, our goal is to score. No matter how close the game is, what time it is, we’re right there to score. “

“Motivation. We have so much energy, and our vibe is so strong right now, and after a great win like this, we’re going to have a great week of training and I already know we’ll be ready to play on Saturday. Said senior safety Austin St. Pierre, who had an interception and a false punt for a first down against Hobart.

Irabor was named the Liberty League’s Offensive Game of the Week, with 121 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries, but on Bellamy’s nine goals (on 25 attempts) and 203 yards, Ross caught seven for 175 yards.

That included 66 yards in which he caught a pattern on the left sideline, rocked one defenseman and passed another on the sideline for a touchdown that gave Union a 20-17 lead with 12:11. to play in the fourth quarter. Hobart sent him into overtime with a field goal with six seconds remaining.

The Dutch have mostly crushed their opponents this season, but the Hobart game may have given them a glimpse of what to expect on the road against Ithaca this weekend.

Regardless, head coach Jeff Behrman said his team have been through enough tense times to know what to expect and how to deal with it.

“We talked about it as a staff, in fact, yesterday [last Friday, Oct. 29]Behrman said after the Hobart win. “We had some adversity. The Springfield game was one, and the other, actually, was the Buffalo State game. We were leading six, they had the ball inside the 20-yard line in the fourth quarter, and our defense stood up and did exactly what it did today to preserve the victory.

“I feel pretty good,” Irabor said. “I have the impression that this team [Hobart] was one of the toughest teams we were going to face all year, so before any other game I feel really confident, really prepared.

Contact sports editor Mike MacAdam at 518-395-3146 or [email protected]

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