New Albany Gazette
HOLLY SPRINGS – One point made the difference.
The East Union Urchins topped top-seed H.W. Byers 35-34 Friday night, winning the first playoff game – and appearance – in school history.
“We lost to the better team, they were the better team tonight,” Byers coach Christopher Daniels said.
Blake Spruill totaled 202 yards and three touchdowns for the Urchins (8-3), who took the lead on their second drive of the game and added a two-point conversion for the 8-6 advantage.
The Lions (10-1) weren’t down long, with Montavious Reynolds running in a 24-yard touchdown on the second play of their ensuing drive, to take a 12-8 lead.
Reynolds proved the standout for Byers, totaling two touchdown catches for the night.
Despite the win, Urchins coach Scott Duley is looking for improvement.
“Turnovers cost some valuable points,” Duley said, “We should have had a bigger lead, but it’s a great win for our program and for these guys.”
The Urchins turned it over four times, resulting in two TDs.
One of those touchdowns, late in the third quarter, brought Byers its biggest lead of the game at 34-21.
Spruill’s second touchdown cut the lead to one possession after his defense stopped a fake punt to take over on downs.
East Union quarterback DJ Armstrong threw two touchdowns to Lane Plunk and had 99 passing yards.
Marquis Moore, quarterback Anthony Rubin and Justin Sellars all had rushing scores for Byers. Special teams made the difference, Byers 2-for-4 on two-point conversions, East Union 2-of-3.
Duley is quick to give credit to the other members of Division 1-2A in helping with the win.
“If we hadn’t had those games to show us what speed was, what an athletic team was, we knew what to expect coming in,” Duley said.
“But the bigger thing is what it means for the school and the program. Whatever we do, it’s not about me, it’s about the team and the school and that’s great.”
East Union will host a second- round matchup against Eupora.