At least one Union Titan was a bit nervous Thursday night heading into his first home start.
It did not take long for Matt Reeves to settle into a groove, though.
Reeves blew up the first play from scrimmage, taking down the Westview ball carrier for an eight-yard loss to set the tone for the rest of the night.
The next play, Westview turned the ball over and the rout could begin.
The Union Titans converted four turnovers into touchdowns in the first half, cruising to a 41-14 interstate football victory over the Wildcats from Beaverton, Ore., at McKenzie Stadium.
Treve’ Ensley and Gabe Rego scored just a little more than two minutes apart early in the first quarter, Tanner Nelson was a two-way standout performer, and Kaben Humphrey-Butler threw for 165 yards and a touchdown in the first half, leading the Titans to a 34-0 lead at the break.
“Honestly, I was so excited,” Reeves said. “First play of the game was an eight-yard loss. I was nervous in front of all those students. If I messed up, they were going to chew me out.”
None of the Titans messed up in this one, their first game at McKenzie after opening the 2011 season with two road games.
The Titans (2-1) pushed the lead past 40 with their first possession of the second half. Humphrey-Butler snuck in from a yard out to make it a running clock for the last 18 minutes of the game.
“It’s crazy. I love playing at home. The band. The cheers. The atmosphere. It just got us pumped up, ready to go,” Humphrey-Butler said. “It’s great to be finally back home, on the home turf.”
Nelson had a sack and forced fumble in the first quarter, setting up the game’s second touchdown, a 16-yard run from Rego that came just 2 minutes and 16 seconds after Ensley’s 15-yarder to open the scoring.
Rego and Ensley also had interceptions for the Titans, which led to the two other first-half touchdowns — a 3-yard run from Rego and a 24-yard TD pass from Humphrey-Butler to Nelson.
“It was just a huge confidence boost, that first quarter, making all those huge plays,” Nelson said. “It really demoralized Westview.”
Trent Cowan was true on two field goals for the 34 points.
UNION 41, WESTVIEW, Ore. 14
Westview 0 0 7 7—14
Union 24 10 7 0—41
U — Treve’ Ensley 15 run (Trent Cowan kick)
U — Gabe Rego 16 run (Cowan kick)
U — Cowan 34 FG
U — Rego 3 run (Cowan kick)
U — Tanner Nelson 24 pass from Kaben Humphrey-Butler (Cowan kick)
U — Cowan 28 FG
U — Humphrey-Butler 1 run (Cowan kick)
W — Dylan Fields 36 pass from C.J. Garcia (Diego Gonzalez kick)
W — Garcia 10 run (Gonzalez kick)
Rushing — Westview: Jordan Bacon 9-19, Jarell Williams 9-11, Brice Leion 1-5, C.J. Garcia 5-(-6); Union: Rego 14-64; Ensley 3-22, Humphrey-Butler 7-18, John Reynolds 3-8, Cody Gromes 2-5, Taala Letioa 1-3.
Passing — Westview: Garcia 14-25-2-130, Julius Rucker 1-1-0-4; Union: Humphrey-Butler 8-12-0-165
Receiving — Westview: Dylan Fields 4-67, Kyle Henderson 3-29, Bacon 3-9, Rafael Bereket 1-2, Justin Leatherman 1-17, Tyler Horst 1-(-2), Daniel Abdie 1-8, Brett Kious 1-4. Union: Nelson 4-66, Cowan 2-92, Rego 1-7, Ensley 1-0