Urchins trump Royals in division play, 59-22

Adam Gore
MARIETTA, MS – Coach Scott Duley didn’t know that senior running back Blake Spruill had eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark in East Union’s division opening 59-22 win over New Site, but the impressive night didn’t come as a surprise to the head coach.
“I knew he had a good night, but didn’t realize he had those kind of numbers,” commented Duley after the game. “Blake has really established himself as our feature back and has become that leader we’ve needed both on and off the field to be able to enjoy the success we’ve had so far this season.”
Spruill finished the night with 217 yards and rushing touchdowns of 58, 42, and 52 yards on 14 carries to help the Urchins (6-0, 1-0) stay amongst the state’s unbeaten teams.
East Union amassed 589 yards of total offense with five touchdowns going for 40 yards or longer.
DJ Armstrong and Jamie McCullough rushed for 86 yards each with Armstrong having rushing touchdowns of 7 and 17 yards while McCullough add the games’ final score on a 50-yard dash to the end zone.
Armstrong connected on 1 of 8 passing with his lone completion resulting in a 5-yard TD toss to Jacob Elder.
Elder also added 49 yards rushing and a 26-yard TD on 9 carries while Chase Hall had 73 yards and a 51-yard TD run on 6 carries.
Defensively, the Urchins held the Royals (2-4, 0-1) to 210 yards of offense and forced four turnovers.
Johnathan Valle got things rolling for East Union when he picked off a Royals’ only pass of the night on the first play of the game and returned it 24 yards to the 5-yard line to set up Armstrong’s 5-yard TD pass.
Triston Lady recovered a fumble when a Royals’ snap went over the head of the punter to set up Armstrong’s 7-yard TD run. Lawrence Milsap and Josh Whitenton also recovered fumbles on the night.
“I thought it was an all-around good night,” said Duley. “The defense did a great job playing physical and being opportunistic to help put our offense in good position all night. We are going to need to keep playing that way the deeper we get into division play.”
The win was crucial when it comes to the second-year program’s postseason hopes, but Coach Duley isn’t focusing too far down the road when it comes to the possibility of making an appearance in the playoffs.
“I know it sounds cliché, but we are going to enjoy this win and focus on getting ready for Walnut,” Duley commented. “Making the playoffs was a goal that we set for ourselves before the season started, but that goal won’t be able to become a reality if we start looking ahead.”
East Union will host Walnut Friday night in division play.
The Wildcats improved to 6-1 and 1-0 in division play after picking up a 48-21 win over Hatley last week and have won 6-straight games after losing their season opener 35-7 to Booneville.

About Dennis Clayton

I cover high school sports in Union County and occasionally contribute sports articles to sister community newspapers of Journal Inc. Follow me on Twitter: @denclayton for scores and updates on our local high school teams.