East Union suffered their second loss of the season at Ripley on Friday night, with the Tigers soundly defeating the Urchins, 49-6.
East Union was off to a good start when they recovered a Ripley fumble on the second play of the game, but they were never able to get anything going from there.
“We played a very good Ripley team,” head coach Scott Duley said. “We fought hard the first quarter and then we just had a lot of turnovers.”
Turnovers would be the story of the night, as East Union fumbled the ball six times, five of which it were recovered by the Tigers. Each fumble recovery resulted in a Ripley touchdown. The Tigers scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and another three in the second, leading 42-0 at the break.
“Our quarterback had trouble handling the ball, we threw an interception, and our running back lost the ball twice,” Duley said of the second quarter turnovers.
The third quarter saw only one Ripley touchdown and no turnovers, and as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter, safety Jacob Elder intercepted a Ripley pass and ran it nearly the length of the field to score the Urchins’ only touchdown, and the first ever for the junior, preventing the shutout.
East Union missed the extra point, leading to a final score of 49-6.
“I think we played much better than we did against Mantachie,” Duley said. “We never quit, we fought hard, and that’s all I asked them to do.”
Duley said the turnovers were a result of the fatigue.
“You play a team with 60 kids. They’ve got no one going both ways. We’ve got seven kids going both ways. Our kids get tired, they lose focus and they lose concentration.”
Duley plans to work on this for next week’s game against Strayhorn.
“It’s really a concentration issue, that’s what it is,” Duley said. “And we’re losing our focus, so we’ll refocus and see what happens.”
East Union hosts Strayhorn at BNA Park next Friday night.
-story by Josh Presley