County runners enjoy good results at Saltillo meet

Stephane Floyd helped lead the Myrtle girls to a third place finish at Saltillo. Floyd placed ninth individually with a time of 22:01.09. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Stephane Floyd helped lead the Myrtle girls to a third place finish at Saltillo. Floyd placed ninth individually with a time of 22:01.09. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
SALTILLO – Union County runners squared off against some of the top runners in the state at Saltillo and came away with very competitive team and individual results on Saturday. Over 41 teams competed in the meet on one of the toughest courses in the state.
Myrtle girls had a strong showing in the 1-3A girls, finishing third overall with 104 points. Myrtle was led by Stephanie Floyd’s ninth place time of 22:01.09. Caroline Greer (20), Ivory Montgomery (22), Geniesha Montgomery (31) and Ellie Fitts (34) ran well as a group to secure the third place finish. East Union finished 10th at 244 points.
Sarah Duley of East Union placed tenth with her time of 22:02.80 while Savannah Shirley of West Union (22:33.71) finished 15th and Sydney Roberts of Ingomar (23:03.21) placed 24th. Hannah Courtney of East Union was another top 40 finisher at 24:02.83 for the number 40 spot.
Boys 1-3A individual boys results saw Noah Bryant of Ingomar turn in a fifth place finish with a time of 18:16.48. Hunter Nobles placed eighth at 18:25.39 and Zach Rowan was tenth at 18:36.31. Other top 40 finishers were Jordan Salmon of East Union in 12th place (18:43.33), Alex Sanders of Ingomar in 13th (18:43.73), Randy Long of West Union in 27th place (19:38.10) Joey Pace of East Union in 32nd (19:55.91) and Eli Basil of West Union, 33rd (19:56.35).
East Union placed fourth in the team standings at 98 points. West Union was seventh at 225 and Myrtle placed ninth at 267.
Noah Bryant finished fifth in 1-3A boys with his time of 18:16.48. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Noah Bryant finished fifth in 1-3A boys with his time of 18:16.48. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Sarah Duley of East Union placed 10th in the 1-3A girls with a time of 22:02.80. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Sarah Duley of East Union placed 10th in the 1-3A girls with a time of 22:02.80. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


East Union's Hunter Nobles finished eighth in 1-3A boys with his time of 18:25.39. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

East Union’s Hunter Nobles finished eighth in 1-3A boys with his time of 18:25.39. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Savannah Shirley of West Union finished 15th with her time of 22:33.71. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Savannah Shirley of West Union finished 15th with her time of 22:33.71. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Injury-plagued Urchins fall to Strayhorn

Bailey Spruill #71 and Josh Whitenton #44 move in for the tackle on the Strayhorn runner. Steven Call #82 and Austin Colburn #50 also help in stopping the play. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Bailey Spruill #71 and Josh Whitenton #44 move in for the tackle on the Strayhorn runner. Steven Call #82 and Austin Colburn #50 also help in stopping the play. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
STRAYHORN – East Union has fought the injury bug since game one and Friday night the Urchins played without eight starters as they lost on the road to Strayhorn 20-0. East Union had to again reshuffle their lineup and move players around to new positions, particularly affected was the offensive line which has not seen the same five starters all season.
“We played short-handed, but that doesn’t excuse all the penalties and turnovers,” East Union coach Scott Duley said. “We probably had seven or eight offsides on defense, we’ve got to get more disciplined. I’ve got to do a better job coaching. Hats off to Strayhorn, they played a good game, they had a good game plan. They probably possessed the ball about 75 per cent of the clock time. It’s hard to win when the other team’s got the ball that long.”
Strayhorn took the opening kickoff and methodically moved downfield covering 80 yards. The Mustangs scored with 8:08 left in the opening quarter on Jordan Pinion’s 27 yard touchdown run. The kick failed and Strayhorn led 6-0.
East Union drove inside the Mustang 40 on three occasions, but an interception and costly penalties stopped all of the drives and the Urchins trailed 6-0 after a quarter.
The Urchins marched from their 16 to the Strayhorn 31 late in the first half, but the drive ended on an interception by the Mustangs.
Strayhorn took only two plays to convert the turnover into points as they scored with :1.7 left in the half. Ryan Ross hit Justin Stovall with a 16 yard pass for the score. The pass was incomplete for the two point attempt and the teams went to half with Strayhorn up 12-0.
East Union took the kickoff in the second half and drove to the Strayhorn 25, but a fumble killed the drive on the Urchins’ deepest drive of the night.
Austin Colburn recovered a Strayhorn fumble in the next series, but the Urchins went three and out, resulting in a punt. Neither team was able to score in the third quarter.
Strayhorn scored the game’s final touchdown with 10:20 left in the game as Pinion scored on a four-yard run. He also added the two point conversion with his run and the Mustangs led 20-0.
Jamie McCullough lead East Union in rushing with 10 carries for 88 yards. Lane Plunk had six carries for 60 yards.
Zane Wilkinson was 5-12 passing for 61 yards. Craig Hutchens had two catches for 32 yards and Cody Taylor had two catches for 26 yards.
“We had our opportunities, you’ve got to capitalize when you’ve got them and we certainly had them,” Duley said. “Every time it seemed we had a big play, we had a penalty. The big thing we want to teach these young men is to persevere in difficulties and you certainly can’t teach them that if you don’t have difficulties.”
Duley said he was pleased with the effort by the Urchins, but the execution left a lot to be desired.
East Union has an open date next week and return to action on October 3 against New Site which will be Homecoming for the Urchins.

Lady Hawks stay in contention with division win

Amber Cook had three hits and 2 RBIs in Myrtle's 8-2 division win over West Union on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Amber Cook had three hits and 2 RBIs in Myrtle’s 8-2 division win over West Union on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
MYRTLE – The Lady Hawks of Myrtle needed a win to stay in the playoff picture in their division and they rode a 16 hit attack to avenge an earlier loss as they defeated West Union 8-2 on Thursday.
“I was pleased with the intensity and urgency that our girls played with,” Myrtle coach Marty Cook said. “We knew it was a do or die game. With the win, we are still in the playoff hunt.”
Myrtle scored three runs in the bottom of the third, using three hits and two West Union errors to take the 3-0 lead.
Myrtle sent eight batters to the plate in the fifth inning, but could only manage two runs, leaving the bases loaded after extending their lead to 5-0.
West Union came back in the top of the sixth with their biggest threat of the day, but could only score one run while leaving the bases loaded.
Myrtle added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth as Callie Denton drove in two runs and Heather Smith drove in one to push the Myrtle lead to 8-1.
West Union picked up a run in the seventh and left runners at the corners as the game ended.
“I felt like the team that got momentum first would win,” West Union coach Hugh Yates said. “Give Myrtle credit, they got that opportunity and took advantage. We were so close to scoring two or three times, but couldn’t get the hit or break we needed. We’ve got to keep working.”
Both coaches made mention of the pressure of the game with the playoff implications and noted the importance of the contest.
“We still have a big game ahead with Ingomar, so we will spend the next week preparing for Ingomar,” Cook said.
Amber Cook, Lauren Coggin and Denton had three hits to lead Myrtle.
Myrtle and West Union are both 2-2 in division.

East Union travels to Strayhorn on Friday

Jamie McCullough rushed for 177 yards on Friday against TCPS. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Jamie McCullough rushed for 177 yards on Friday against TCPS. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
East Union will be on the road on Friday as the Urchins travel to Tate County to face the Strayhorn Mustangs. East Union enters the game at 3-1 while Strayhorn comes in with a 2-1 record.
“This will be our fifth week playing football and fifth different offensive line,” East Union coach Scott Duley said. “One of our up and coming offensive linemen, Jay Tate is out four to six weeks with a broken collarbone suffered this week. It’s hard to have consistency among your offensive line when it’s that way, but we’ll do what we need to do and kids will fill in like they’ve done all year and we’ll do the best we can.”
Strayhorn is coming off a 14-8 win over North Delta on Friday while East Union defeated TCPS 40-9.
Strayhorn’s other win was over Coldwater 26-22 while their loss was against Lee Academy by a 38-8 margin.
East Union will have Bryan Wages and Dustin Adams back this week in their line after being without their services on Friday.
“We’re trying to get the boys going mentally and emotionally this week and we had a good practice on Monday,” Duley said. “Strayhorn is big and physical, defensively they look very good. They’ve got a nose guard that is probably 6’5″ and 310, he can really move.”
Duley said that Strayhorn will base their defense out of a 3-4 alignment and that they blitz well and often from this formation. Duley thinks that defense will be the strength of Strayhorn’s team.
“The offense is good, but it’s fairly simple,” Duley said. “It’s a two-tight wishbone most of the time. When they get in the ace formation or what some call a pistol formation, they’ve got a couple of plays that they run out of that.”
Strayhorn features big strong backs and a big, strong offensive line according to Duley.
“When they have to throw the ball, they are capable of doing that,” Duley said. “Our big challenge this week is going to be how to prepare for their defense, plus how to be consistent when we haven’t had the same five starters on our offensive line yet and a whole new backfield last week. Hopefully we’ll get all that worked out this week.”
Duley expects Strayhorn to be similar to Potts Camp in ability and athleticism.
Kickoff is 7:00 on Friday at Strayhorn.

Ingomar scratches out division win at West Union

Carson Grisham delivers a two RBI single for Ingomar in the second inning. Grisham was also the winning pitcher for the Lady Falcons. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Carson Grisham delivers a two RBI single for Ingomar in the second inning. Grisham was also the winning pitcher for the Lady Falcons. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ENTERPRISE – Ingomar and West Union locked in a low-scoring affair on Tuesday with the Lady Falcons edging out the Lady Eagles 5-1.
“It was a win and a win is better than a loss,” Ingomar coach Andy Wilbanks said. “Both teams didn’t really play very well tonight. They struggled, we struggled and somehow we won. We’ll take it and hopefully we will figure out some things with our hitting. The good thing is we played West Union and Myrtle both on the road and we’ll play them at home next time. “
Ingomar’s second inning provided the runs that propelled them to the win. The Lady Falcons sent nine batters to the plate as they collected five hits to go along with an error to score four runs. Kelly Mayo and Kasey Carson had a RBI apiece and Carson Grisham drove in two RBIs with her single to put Ingomar in the lead for good at 4-1.
West Union had taken an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Callie Baggett singled and later scored on Chase Coffey’s bases-loaded single to give the Lady Eagles the lead.
Ingomar added an insurance run in the fifth as Maggie Smithey reached on an error and was later driven by Erin Wall to put the Lady Falcons up 5-1.
West Union stranded 12 base runners, twice leaving the bases loaded. Ingomar stranded seven base runners on the day.
“It was probably the ugliest game that I’ve ever seen,” West Union coach Hugh Yates said. “I think we had three strikeouts, two foul-outs, five errors and that’s a formula for losing. You just can’t win games doing things like that. The positive is that we still have a chance in our division to make it (playoffs) so that’s what we’ve got to work on. One run is not going to win many ballgames, we’ve got to hit, we’ve got to fight through it, overcome it.”
Carson Grisham was the winning pitcher and also the leading hitter for Ingomar as she went 2-3 with 2 RBIs. Callie Baggett had two hits for West Union.
Callie Baggett had two hits for West Union on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Callie Baggett had two hits for West Union on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Jesslyn Brewer drives a pitch to right in the first inning on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Jesslyn Brewer drives a pitch to right in the first inning on Tuesday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Morgan Gooch singles for Ingomar during their big second inning against West Union. Gooch later scored on Carson Grisham's two RBI single. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Morgan Gooch singles for Ingomar during their big second inning against West Union. Gooch later scored on Carson Grisham’s two RBI single. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Urchins run over the Eagles

John Isaac Roberts hauls in the Zane Wilkinson pass for a 13 yard touchdown. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

John Isaac Roberts hauls in the Zane Wilkinson pass for a 13 yard touchdown. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
BELDEN – Coach Scott Duley is a firm believer in the run and on Friday his Urchins made believers out of the Tupelo Christian Prep Eagles. The Urchins gashed the Eagle defense with five rushing touchdowns of 45 yards or longer in their 40-9 win.
“We had six starters out and we had three freshmen starting on our offensive line and our entire backfield was new,” Duley said. “The first quarter you could tell we were a little rusty. We ultimately got some things going, but TCPS played hard.”
TCPS used a long pass play to take the opening lead at 6-0. Quarterback Caleb Kitchens hit Lane Tate on a 57 yard touchdown pass with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter. The kick failed.
That lead was short-lived as Lane Plunk sprinted for a 45 yard touchdown run at the 5:48 mark. Cody Taylor added the PAT and East Union held the lead 7-6. The first quarter ended without any further scoring.
East Union blew the game open in the second quarter, scoring 20 points and taking a 27-6 halftime lead. Plunk scored again for the Urchins with 11:46 left in the second quarter with his 58 yard scamper. The PAT was no good.
Jamie McCullough scored the first of his two touchdowns with 5:03 left in the half as he raced 50 yards to score. The PAT was no good. The final East Union points came on a Zane Wilkinson to John Isaac Roberts pass of 13 yards with 3:30 remaining in the first half. McCullough scored on the two point conversion run.
East Union scored two touchdowns in the third quarter as Craig Hutchens got the first score on his 56 yard touchdown run with 8:03 remaining in the quarter. Lane Plunk added the PAT to raise the score to 34-6.
McCullough scored the final Urchin touchdown on his 82 yard run with 2:53 left in the quarter. The pass for the two point conversion was incomplete. East Union led 40-6 at that point.
TCPS was able to connect on a Brandon Wood field goal right before time expired to put the final score at 40-9.
Jamie McCullough had 177 yards rushing on eight carries and two touchdowns. Lane Plunk carried the ball four times for 116 yards and two touchdowns. Craig Hutchens rushed 11 times for 95 yards and one touchdown.”
Craig Hutchens breaks loose for a 56 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Craig Hutchens breaks loose for a 56 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


Jamie McCullough torched the TCPS defense for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Jamie McCullough torched the TCPS defense for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Lady Eagles shutout by Lady Cougars

Kylie Massengill had two hits to lead West Union on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.

Kylie Massengill had two hits to lead West Union on Thursday. Photo by Dennis Clayton.


BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ENTERPRISE – West Union just never found a groove on Thursday and fell to South Pontotoc 12-0 in a non-division game.
“It was ugly,” West Union coach Hugh Yates said. “They (South Pontotoc) played a great game. They put on a clinic out here. You’re going to have some games like this, where things go against you and go their way.”
‘We hit some pretty good balls, but they made the plays on them,” Yates said. “They (South Pontotoc) were relaxed and once you get relaxed in a game, your defense plays better and it just looks like everything goes your way.”
The inning that really swung the game and momentum was the Lady Cougar third as they sent 11 batters to the plate. They collected seven consecutive hits and by the end of their at bat, had scored six runs to put the game almost out of reach at 9-0.
West Union just never could get the offense going, they went in order in both the second and third innings while South Pontotoc was adding to the score each inning.
West Union’s only threat came in the fourth inning with two outs when they got runners aboard at first and second, but a popup to first ended the inning.
Kylie Massengill had two hits to lead the Lady Eagles.
“I told them (Lady Eagles) to forget this game, it’s over,” Yates said. “We’ve got to concentrate on next week (division games with Ingomar and Myrtle).”