BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - On a day of milestones, No. 18 Union College survived a scare as the Bulldogs held off visiting Campbellsville (Ky.) University 31-24 Saturday in Mid-South Conference East action.
With the win, Union improved to 8-2 overall and 5-1 in league play. Campbellsville dropped to 2-8 on the year and 1-4 in the MSC East.
With 12:54 remaining in the game, Jacob Appleby (Harvest, Ala.) booted a 34-yard field goal to put Union ahead 31-10. However, Campbellsville was not about to quit.
The Tigers pieced together a 10-play, 71-yard drive in cutting the margin to 31-17. David Mason pulled down a 5-yard pass from Ross Deaton with 10:11 left to make it a 14-point contest.
On the ensuing possession, Terence Pollock (Orange Park, Fla.) fumbled at the Campbellsville 45 and Jacob Wallace scooped up the loose ball, returning it 55 yards for a touchdown. After David Hon's PAT, the Bulldog lead was down to 31-24 with 9:05 to play.
Union looked as if it would seal the victory as a 21-yard pass to Kyle Callahan (Covington, Ky.) gave the Bulldogs the ball on the Tiger 1-yard line. After three failed attempts at scoring a touchdown, Appleby attempted a 20-yard field goal but missed it wide right as Campbellsville took over on its own 20 with 2:21 remaining.
A Greg Fountain 11-yard run put Campbellsville at its 45 with a little over 1:30 left, but four straight incompletions dashed the Tigers hopes of a comeback as Union held on for the 31-24 victory.
Callahan had a huge day for the Bulldogs as he caught a nine passes for 136 yards - both season highs, and two touchdowns. He also completed a pass for 38 yards.
Union outgained Campbellsville 471-435 in total offense as Mike Brinkley (Anthony, Fla.) completed 22-of-41 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Brinkley set the single-season record for most touchdown passes as he now has 30, surpassing the mark of 27 set by Joey Waters in 2007. He also recorded the fifth 2,000-yard passing season in program history as he now has 2,253 yards on the year.
Pollock also reached a milestone as became the third player in Bulldog history to rush for a 1,000 yards in a season. He ran for 101 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, giving him 1,099 yards on the season.
Appleby set the school record for most PATs made and attempted in a season as he now has made 42-of-43 in 2008.
Union found itself in the hole early on as Campbellsville took the opening possession and drove 61 yards in nine plays to take a 7-0 lead with 11:40 on the clock. The Bulldogs bounced back with a pair of Brinkley touchdown passes. The first went to Callahan on a 17-yard play with the second being a 5-yard pass to Chris Thomas (Hopkinsville, Ky.), giving Union a 14-7 lead with 1:14 left in the first.
Campbellsville made it 14-10 with a Hon 35-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Union continued its dominance in the third quarter, scoring twice for a 28-10 cushion. Callahan pulled down an 8-yard touchdown pass with 11:47 to go, and Pollock broke loose for a 69-yard scoring run at the 8:12 mark.
Early in the fourth, Appleby's 34-yard field goal put Union up 31-10 before Campbellsville rallied to make the final 31-24.
Offensively for Campbellsville, Deaton threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-44 passing. Fountain ran for 136 yards on 24 carries.
The Bulldog defense and special teams came up big as Campbellsville turned the ball over five times. Deaton threw two interceptions and fumbled once, while two of Chad Boyington's (Stockbridge, Ga.) punts bounced and hit a Campbellsville player, resulting in a live ball as Union recovered it both times.
Willie Williams (Miami, Fla.) recorded a game-high 16 total tackles and had five quarterback hurries, while Marekus Smith (Lithonia, Ga.) had 10 total stops with a forced fumble and three hurries.
Union will play host to Belhaven (Miss.) College next Saturday in the regular-season finale. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.