BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ELLISTOWN – East Union held the first-ever home football game on campus and the community turned out in huge numbers to show their support and cheer the Urchins on to a 39-8 win over Middleton, TN on Friday.
“We were better than last week,” East Union coach Scott Duley said. “We shored some things up on offense, the ball still hit the ground a couple times. We pushed them very hard in practice this week. Our kids are going to work really hard and that’s all you can ask.”
East Union relied on their run game to control the clock and wear down the opponent. The Urchins had rushing touchdown by three different players as Jamie McCullough and John Isaac Roberts scored one touchdown and Cage West added two.
East Union held Middleton on the opening possession and Lane Plunk’s punt return put the Urchins in business at the Middleton 30. Jamie McCullough scored on his 14-yard run and Tristan Lady’s PAT put East Union on top at 7-0 with 8:34 left in the opening quarter.
Lane Plunk broke a 31 yard punt return later in the first quarter to set East Union up at the Middleton 49 with 3:58 left. Cage West scored on a 22 yard run and Lady connected on the PAT to open the lead to 14-0 with 1:55 remaining.
West scored again with 3:48 left in the half as East Union drove 76 yards in nine plays to extend their lead to 20-0. The PAT was no good.
The Urchins got a big momentum boost with 50 seconds left in the first half as Jesse Keller broke through and blocked the Tiger punt. Austin Colburn scooped up the bouncing ball and rambled 23 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was unsuccesful, but East Union went into the half with a commanding 26-0 lead.
The opening possession of the second half went to East Union and they marched from their 38 to score again with 8:22 left in the quarter. McCullough had two big plays in the drive, a 36 yard reception from Plunk and a run of 18 yards. John Isaac Roberts scored from two yards out to extend the Urchin lead to 32-0. The PAT failed.
Middleton picked up their only score of the night on the ensuing kickoff as they went 52 yards in six plays with quarterback Keon Pipkin scoring on a keeper from two yards out. Pipkin hit Dylan Stewart for the two point conversion and the score stood at 32-8.
East Union’ s final score came on a Plunk to Zane Wilkinson pass of 23 yards and Lady added the PAT for the final score of 39-8.
“It’s great, it’s great to have our own field, it’s great to make history and win our first-ever home game at East Union,” Roberts said.
“We can’t be satisfied, we’ve got a very tough opponent coming up in Potts Camp,” Duley said. “Jamie McCullough answered the bell and ran tough. Jamie took a big, big step tonight. John Isaac Roberts had never played a day in his life at running back, but I thought he did a great job there tonight.”
“Jesse Keller has come in and done an amazing job and shored up our defense,” Duley said. “They fly to the ball and I think we’ve got a good defensive line.”