Kirkland Shatters School Records As UPike Hammers Union In AAC Debut

Senior quarterback Lee Kirkland had a record-setting day as the UPike Bears throttled the Union Bulldogs, 52-10, on Saturday in the team’s first Appalachian Athletic Conference game.

Kirkland set both UPike (3-2) and AAC records in completions, attempts and yards. He completed 38-of-58 passes for 614 yards, 6 touchdowns and 1 interception. His 6 touchdowns also tied a UPike record.

In addition to Kirkland’s feat, wide receiver Derrick Griffith hauled in 10 passes for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns. Griffith’s receiving yards set both a school and AAC record as well.

The Bears scored quickly when Alex Sanders caught a 13-yard pass from Kirkland for a 7-0 lead with 13:14 left in the first quarter. A few minutes later, Kirkland found D’Andre Stafford for a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 at the 10:02 mark. Later in the quarter, Kirkland hit Griffith on an 86-yard pass for the third touchdown of the period to make it 21-0.

Union (1-4) got on the scoreboard near the end of the first quarter when Dustin Brown connected on a 32-yard field goal.

UPike continued its onslaught in the second period when Kirkland hit Sanders for a 31-yard touchdown pass and a 28-3 lead. The Bears got another touchdown in the half’s final few seconds when Kirkland found Stafford on a 5-yard pass to make it 35-3 at the half.

The Bears’ lead grew to 38-3 in the third quarter when Jakob Headley connected on a 20-yard field goal. Kirkland threw his final touchdown pass of the game when he hit Griffith for a 21-yard score and a 45-3 lead with 5:51 left in the third period.

Union finally scored a touchdown with 9:32 left when Bryson Grabowski scored on a 2-yard run. UPike closed out the scoring with 6:18 left on a Tyrese Christian 37-yard run.

Christian led UPike in rushing with 43 yards and 1 touchdown on 3 carries.

Following Griffith, the Bears’ wide receivers had a stellar day. Ben Henson caught 7 passes for 106 yards. Bralin Barton pulled in 6 passes for 103 yards. Sanders had 80 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 receptions. Stafford caught 6 passes for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns.

UPike will next return to action on Saturday when it travels to Waleska, GA for a match up with the Reinhardt Eagles (2-2) at 1:30 pm.

Photo Courtesy of UPike Athletics

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