BLUE SPRINGS • Colton Plunk and the East Union ground game are giving teams fits through the first two weeks of the season.
Plunk rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns in one quarter of action against Ashland in the season opener, as the Urchins blew past the Blue Devils 42-6.
He followed that performance with a 300-yard, four-touchdown night against Tishomingo County, leading East Union to a 42-32 win and a 2-0 start.
“He’s a special back,” said East Union’s first-year head coach Todd Lott. “Big, physical guy that’s about 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, but he can run. All those things make him really special.”
Lott doesn’t lay all the success of East Union’s rushing attack on his senior tailback, but he believes Plunk is a beneficiary of the blocking by his teammates.
“I think he would be the first guy to tell you that he’s had some guys up front that have done a really good job and our receivers have been doing a good job of blocking down field. I think it’s just a combination of him being a special back and everybody else doing their job,” Lott said.
Plunk rushed for 1,550 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior, but East Union’s offense was also led by Ty Walton, who threw for 2,800 yards and 38 touchdowns to help guide the Urchins to a 9-3 record and a second round appearance in the 2A playoffs.
Walton is now the quarterback at Olive Branch, where his dad, Kevin, is the offensive coordinator. But East Union’s offense is still clicking with a new signal caller, sophomore Rett Johnson.
“Rett is a really great decision maker, a great leader and he’s a great athlete,” said Lott.
The Urchins take on East Webster on Friday, a team that bruised them up last season, 62-38.
The Wolverines are 1-1 on the season, coming off a 50-18 loss to Choctaw County, but feature a potent rushing game of their own with Steven Betts. Betts rushed for 279 yards and four scores in last season’s matchup with East Union.
Where East Union’s defense will be tested, Lott will call on his offense to help the cause.
“I’m a big believer in playing complementary football,” he said. “If we can take care of the football and do what we do offensively – as long as we got the ball they don’t have it. So that really helps our defense.”