Union growing pains
Don't be surprised to see Union College's football team stub its toe from time to time this year, just like the Dutchmen did today against Salve Regina.
Although the Dutchmen led, 14-6, heading into the final quarter, Salve Regina rallied with 11 points in the last period to beat Union, 17-14. Christian Clark's 35-yard field goal with 10 minutes to go was the game-winner.
Union used both of its sophomore quarterbacks, and both had their share of mistakes. Nick Becker started and threw a pick-six on his first pass of the season. He lasted the first three series before Connor Eck took over and completed 10 of 22 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown pass. Eck, who had all kinds of trouble picking up the blitz, also ran for 41 yards on 13 carries.
One of the bright spots for Union, besides Eck's solid effort, was the play of wideout Jimmer Bennett of Albany Academy, who caught seven passes for 172 yards and that TD pass from Eck.
Union's defense was also strong, with Noah Joseph making 17 tackles. Union outgained Salve Regina, 340-246, but made plenty of mistakes on special teams and in the penalty department (eight for 66 yards).
Union head coach John Audino called the game a learning experience, and he was right. Young quarterbacks are bound to make mistakes, and they did. Their learning curve will determine how far this team can go.