/seasons/2017/contrib/20170916rjpnbi

Cascione leads Union to 31-21 win at Gallaudet

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WASHINGTON, DC – Senior quarterback Nick Cascione passed for four touchdowns to lead Union College to a 31-21 non-league football win at Gallaudet University Saturday at Hotchkiss Field. The Dutchmen improve to 2-1 while the Bison now stand 1-2.

This is Union's best start since a 2-1 mark in the 2010 season. The Dutchmen also won on the road for the first time since a 27-14 win at Merchant Marine on November 9, 2013.

Cascione became the 10th player to end a game with four passing touchdowns for Union. It was the 14th time in program history a quarterback finished with four TDs through the air. Five other players have had five or six, which is the school record. The last to toss 4 TDs was Dante Cioffi at Rochester on Oct. 24, 2015. Cascione finished 12 for 20 for 169 yards with one interception.

Senior wide receiver Alex Kaplanovich caught five of Cascione's passes for a career high 123 yards, his first 100 yard receiving game. Derek Khnaizir had 76 yards on 14 carries and Travis Demby added 50 yards rushing. Packy Brown had two TDs receiving with six catches for 44 yards.

Timel Benton was 12 for 23 for 224 yards and two TDs with no interceptions for Gallaudet. Canton Meadows (38 yards) and DeMichael Shelbon (36 yards) had eight carries each, leading a nine different ball carries. Joell Dixon led the Bison with a game best 132 yards receiving with two touchdowns.

Sebastian Lubrano led Union defensively with seven solo tackles, and Jason Nelson had six stop swith one for a loss. Jake Lombardo had a 28 yards fumble recovery with six tackles. Louie Akuffo had a game best eight tackles including seven primary for the Bison and Demontrai Lewis added six stops.

The teams not only combined for 53 points but also for 748 yards, 400 from the hosts.

Union jumped out to a 17-0 lead after the first quarter. Brown caught a six yard pass from Cascione on the first drive of the game, a seven play 67 yard drive that took 3:27. Cascione hit Kaplanovich for a 34 yard passing score just 27 seconds after the first score, the first play from scrimmage after Hunter Constable forced a fumble and Paul Chambers recovered for Union at the Gallaudet-34 yard line.

Jonathan Schaible had a 22 yard field goal with 2:19 left to cap a five play, 59 yard drive in 2:17 that made it 17-0.

Gallaudet made it 17-14 by halftime. Shelbon ran in three yards out at 5:43 after a six play, 40 yard drive in 2:51. With 3:33 left, Dixon had a 72 yard pass from Benton on the first play of a drive, the final scoring of the half.

The Bison took the lead for the first time with 3:55 left in the third quarter. Benton found Dixon for a 40 yard scoring strike to make it 21-17 after six plays and 68 yards in 2:33. But with 1:02 left in the quarter Brown got his second of the day and regained the lead for Union. He had a 10 yards pass from Cascione to convert a six play, 50 yard drive in 2:45.

Union added insurance and provided the eventual final just 4:20 into the fourth quarter. Ryan Hanney caught a two yard pass from Cascione for a four play, 70 yard drive in 2:14.

The Dutchmen are at Curry on Saturday, September 23 for the second of three straight away games. Kickoff in Milton, MA is 1:00 p.m.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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