Urchins top Tigers for final 1-2A playoff spot

Photo by Clint Parish/Parish Portrait Design  Jonathan Valle #3 of East Union closes in on the Hatley runner for the tackle during the East Union 33-21 win at Hatley on Friday. East Union will play in the first round of the 2A football playoffs this Friday as they travel to H.W. Byers.

Photo by Clint Parish/Parish Portrait Design
Jonathan Valle #3 of East Union closes in on the Hatley runner for the tackle during the East Union 33-21 win at Hatley on Friday. East Union will play in the first round of the 2A football playoffs this Friday as they travel to H.W. Byers.

By Zac Carlisle
For the Monroe Journal
HATLEY – The 2013 Hatley Tigers (3-7, 1-4) were on the verge of making history. No other football team in school history had ever made the playoffs, and they were looking to do it. The same, however, could have been said for the East Union Urchins (7-3, 2-3). This matchup would decide who would receive the fourth playoff spot in Division 1-2A, while the other’s season would be over. After a tough game, the Urchins were able to hold off the Tigers 33-21 to propel themselves into the playoffs.
East Union received the football to open the game and began storming down the field. After a 35-yard pass from quarterback D.J. Armstrong to receiver Lance Plunk set the Urchins in Hatley territory, Armstrong would call his own number and run for a 40-yard touchdown. The Blake Spruill extra point gave the Urchins an early 7-0 lead.
Hatley was able to match the intensity and produce a long drive. The Tigers relied on the arm of quarterback Jonathan Waycaster and the running ability of Chance Lindsey and Jordan Metcalf to move the ball. Metcalf was able to plow his way in for a 4-yard TD run. The Houston Woodman extra point was good, which tied the game at 7-7.
The next East Union drive resulted in a failed fourth-down conversion, which gave Hatley the opportunity to take the lead. Metcalf was able score a 4-yard TD after a 55-yard pass from Waycaster to receiver Jaylon Jernighan set the Tigers in deep in the red zone. This put the Tigers on top with a 14-7 lead.
The Urchins were able to score again near the beginning of the second quarter after Armstrong found Jacob Elder for 7-yard scoring play. The extra point was no good, resulting in Hatley retaining the lead at 14-13.
Just before the half, Armstrong scored again to put East Union back on top 21-14 after a 3-yard run and a successful 2-point conversion.
Hatley answered with a 42-yard pass from Waycaster to Woodman which set them deep in Urchin territory. The following pass was intercepted, however, but the Urchins weren’t able to score before the half.
In the second half, East Union was able to extend the lead to 27-14 after Armstrong ran for a 1-yard TD.
The Tigers’ offense was unable to produce long drives in the entire third quarter, but just into the fourth quarter, Metcalf scored from four yards out to shorten the Urchin lead to 27-21.
East Union answered with a 49-yard scamper from Spruill, which gave them the 33-21 lead.
This was the lead the Urchins needed to tame the resilient Tigers.

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.