Bulldogs projected to finish fifth in the MSC Appalachian

Published 5:57 pm Friday, August 10, 2018

BARBOURVILLE — The Union College football team is picked to finish fifth in the Mid-South Conference (MSC) Appalachian Division, according to the coaches’ poll released on Aug. 2.

The Bulldogs garnered 15 total voting points, putting them two points behind University of the Cumberlands, which sits fourth in the poll.

Reinhardt University is the odds-on favorite having received six first-place votes and 36 total voting points. The Eagles won the division last season en route to a 12-1 record and spot in the NAIA Football Championship Series title game.

Bluefield College is tabbed to finish second with 30 points and one first-place vote. University of Pikeville checks in third with 27 points. Point University and St. Andrews round out the field in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Union posted a 5-5 overall mark and finished in a three-way tie for third in the MSC Appalachian Division at 3-3.

The Bulldogs placed eight on the All-MSC Appalachian Division Team last season with three returning for the 2018 campaign. Izayah Riettie and Tyler Toombs earned a spot on the first team with Darian Patterson making the second team.

Riettie paced the Bulldog ground attack with 735 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and also caught 23 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Riettie collected the conference offensive player of the week award when he tallied 184 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 63-35 win over Pikeville.

Toombs collected a school-record 949 receiving yards, ranking him second in the conference. He caught 29 passes and averaged 32.7 yards per catch. Toombs racked up 10 touchdowns and was named the MSC Appalachian Offensive Player of the Week twice last season.

Patterson hauled in 26 receptions for 515 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 19.8 yards per catch and recorded two 100-yard receiving games. Patterson’s best game came against Ave Marie when he caught four passes for 121 yards and two scores.

Union opens the 2018 season on Aug. 23 when it hosts Cincinnati Christian University. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

2018 MSC Appalachian Division

School – Points (First-Place Votes)

1. Reinhardt – 36 (6)

2. Bluefield – 30 (1)

3. Pikeville – 27

4. Cumberlands – 17

5. Union – 15

6. Point – 12

7. St. Andrews – 10