The Racers made quick work of the Union College Bulldogs Thursday night. After a fumble was recovered by the Racers, senior quarterback C.J. Bennett found the hands of junior receiver Janawski Davis for a touchdown less than two minutes into the game.
A punt returned by junior Shawn Samuels-Connell gave the Racers their second touchdown of the game just shy of the five-minute mark. The Racers continued to dominate play as Bennett attempted to handoff to sophomore runningback Marcus Holliday in an attempt to force the touchdown from just a few yards out. After two short runs by Holliday, Bennett completed a pass to junior receiver Jeremy Harness for the Racers’ third touchdown.
The Bulldogs rallied shortly with a pass to Domonique Jefferson for a first down at the 12-yard line. LaVance Anderson received a handoff from quarterback Chandler Whittlesey for Union’s first touchdown of the game.
A few plays later, the Racers fell back into stride when Samuels-Connell returned a Bulldog punt. Bennett took a short run on the next play before stepping out of bounds. On the next down, he completed a pass to Harness for the final touchdown of the quarter with just 43.3 seconds remaining.
Davis began the second quarter’s excitement with a punt return for a touchdown. A few plays later, Union’s punter, sophomore Alex Sigmon, received a bad snap but was able to recover. Incomplete passes by Bennett followed before junior kicker Carson Greifenkamp put three points on the board with a 41-yard field goal.
Union found another short surge of energy as Whittlesey completed a pass to Jefferson. Jefferson was stopped by senior Racer Cadarious Sanders at the two-yard line. On the next down, Anderson carried the ball for a Union touchdown. The Racers were able to block the extra point, leaving Union with just 13 points on the board.
Bennett once again found the hands of Davis for a touchdown, giving the Racers a 32 point lead.
Junior runningback Pokey Harris found his tempo with just a few minutes left in the half. Harris carried 21 yards for a touchdown with just more than a minute left in the half. Greifenkamp tallied his seventh extra point of the game to put the Racers up 52-13 at the end of the first half.
“We’ve got weapons everywhere,” Bennett said. “We’ve got backs, as you can see when we hand the ball to them they can make things happen. We’ve got guys outside who can make plays, like Ski (Janawski,) and Bobo, Jesse, I mean we’ve got weapons everywhere. And we feel like that’s a big part of the offense.”
The Racer defense was unable to stop the Bulldogs as Whittlesey found the hands of junior wide receiver Kyle Keplinger. A short run found him in the endzone for a Bulldog touchdown.
Things got interesting when the extra point was blocked and recovered by Jonathan Jackson. Jackson put two points on the board with an extra point return.
“The two point conversion, we talk about that all the time,” said Head Coach Chris Hatcher. “When you block a kick you can return that thing, and then we look confused when it happened the first time. But you know, very rarely do you go out there and you practice getting one blocked, let the guy catch it in the endzone and then run it one hundred yards in practice to score.”
Sophomore Jesse Blackburn returned a short kick to the Racers’ 40-yard line before sophomore runningback Roman Clay had a chance to carry twice. Harris also racked up a carry before Bennett completed a touchdown pass to Davis once again. Greifenkamp’s extra point was also blocked, but the Bulldogs were unable to recover and return as the Racers just had.
Sophomore quarterback K.D. Humphries entered the game to relieve Bennett with approximately seven and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
A pass to junior receiver Paul Rice scored a 34-yard touchdown almost immediately after Humphries’ entry. Within a few downs, a fumble recovered by Union freshman Jabari Weeks led to a 95-yard touchdown. At the end of the third quarter, the Racers led 67-26.
Both teams agreed to shorten the fourth quarter to six minutes, and the Racers wasted no time in scoring. Freshman runningback Nick Taylor found the endzone just 57 seconds in. A failed attempt at a trick play on the extra point left the Racers up 73-26.
Senior quarterback Parks Frazier entered with a minute and a half left. The clock wound down as much of the Racers’ second and third string played the last snap of the game.
Story by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor