ELLISTOWN - East Union enjoyed a balanced offense as they passsed for 252 yards and ran for 216 more in their 54-29 homecoming win over Mantachie on Friday.
"I feel like on offense, we had a good game plan, we had a few turnovers that shouldn't have happened, but I thought offensively we did a pretty good job," East Union coach Kevin Walton said. "Defensively, we held our ground a lot of the time and overall I thought we played a pretty good game."
Ty Walton led the passing game as he finished the night 14 of 21 for all of the 252 passing yards plus four touchdowns. Colton Plunk was the go-to man in the rushing attack as he carried the football 13 times for 132 yards and one rushing touchdown. Plunk also caught a Walton pass for a score.
DeJuan Hubbard was the receiving star as he caught four passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.
"We threw the ball well, Ty and Dejuan just meshed well together," Walton said. "Tonight Dejuan had some big catches and he made some plays, he went up after some balls, so he did a really good job."
Plunk's four-yard run was the lone touchdown of the opening quarter as East Union held a narrow 7-0 lead after the first 12 minutes.
The teams combined for 27 points in the second quarter however as the Urchins went to the half up by a 26 to 8 lead.
Walton tossed his first touchdown with 11:56 left in the second quarter as he hit Collin Stephens for the four-yard score. Edgar Zapata's kick made it 14-0.
Plunk and Walton hooked up for the third Urchin touchdown on a 28-yard pass play with 6:06 left in the first half.
Mantachie came back with a long TD pass of 64 yards as quarterback Jacob Frazier hit Matt Johnson and Austin Nichols converted the try for two to cut the score to 20-8.
Walton led his Urchins back with a touchdown just before the halftime homecoming festivities were to commence as he hit Hubbard for a 20-yard pass with one second remaining for the 26-8 lead at the intermission.
Mantachie flipped the momentum as a they stopped an Urchin drive into Mustang territory and converted it into points as Andrew Miller stepped in front of a fourth down pass and ran it back 75 yards for the touchdown. The pass from Frazier to Jake Wiygul cut the Urchin lead to 26-16.
Hubbard didn't allow the Mustangs to enjoy their pick-six for long at all as he took the ensuing kickoff and raced 65 yards for the touchdown 12 seconds later to pad the East Union lead to 33-16.
Plunk set up the next East Union touchdown as he broke loose on a 43-yard run to set up Ty Walton's two-yard run which gave East Union a lead of 40-16.
Mantachie scored just before the end of the quarter and the Urchins went to the fourth quarter up 40-22.
The Mustangs appeared poised to make a close game of it as they drove to the Urchin three, but Hayden Roberts snagged a Mantachie pass on a first and goal and ran it back for a 97-yard interception and score to put the game out of reach with 8:51 left. Micah Fulgham's run for two padded the score at 48-22.
"That was just him (Roberts) being an athlete, the quarterback was just eying down the receiver and he started catching on to that and I think he had a couple of picks tonight," Walton said.
Fulgham caught a Walton pass of 42 yards to close the scoring for the night with 1:12 left in the contest for the 54-29 final.
This was the division opener for the Urchins and they will travel to Walnut to face the Wildcats on Friday with first place on the line in Division 1-2A. Kickoff is at 7:00.