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Lancers come up short, but prove their worth

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Lancers come up short, but prove their worth

East Union tailback Teejay Gordon breaks free on an 18-yard touchdown.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED September 12, 2009 2:31 a.m.
Following East Union’s emotionally draining 41-35 loss to Beyer at Dino Cunial Field Friday night, head coach Mike James made the comment that when people pick up the newspaper this morning, they will read the headline and assume that his team is still the same old Lancers.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Lancers made two extremely costly mistakes, a 75-yard kick return for a touchdown by Beyer tailback Anthony Jones to start the second half, and a Carl Crawford 46 yard touchdown run with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

And while those mistakes ultimately told the tale Friday night, the bigger story, at least for the Red Sea, was that there was nothing same old, same old about the home team.

Quarterback Dennis Johnson threw for 275 yards on 22-of-32 passing without an interception, ran for East Union’s opening score following a 13-play, 80 yard drive, and completed each of his final 10 passes during a furious fourth quarter push that included three scores (38, 31 and 22 yards) to lifelong friend, wideout T.J. Brown.

“We played hard as a team,” Brown said. “We’re looking for a change, a way to get better. We want to change this program around, and I think tonight we were able to see where we’re at.

“We’re a hell of a team, we just have to keep working hard in practice, and we’ll be fine.”
Brown hauled in seven catches for 131 yards, turned in a 91-yard kickoff return, and responded to the Jones return touchdown with a 35-yard return of his own that set up an important score.

Ricky Inderbitzin caught six balls for 40 yards and collected an interception at safety, Dylan Meneses caught seven passes for 68 yards, and Johnson also found Teejay Gordon and Jacob Carden (2-point conversion).

When asked about his chemistry with his receivers, and Brown in particular, Johnson was pleased.

“(Brown and I) connected three times, and I felt good about it,” Johnson said. “We have the chemistry.”

Gordon was outstanding at tailback, finishing with 109 yards on 14 carries, including an 18-yard touchdown run that made it 21-14 heading into the fourth.

The run went right up the gut, and stood as an eye-opening example of what EU’s offensive line was able to accomplish. In 32 pass attempts, Johnson was sacked just once.

“(With the offensive line), it really came down to holding some young men accountable,” James said. “With Kyle Edwards, Chris Andaya, and Dominic Barba moving to the guard position, that’s three juniors right there that did a super job.

“It was very exciting to see that we didn’t give up, but we don’t have the luxury at East Union to say we have time to wait. We’re not quite where we need to be yet.”

Defensively, the numbers weren’t pretty, but they were a bit misleading. Besides Crawford’s 46-yard touchdown, Beyer’s starting tailback was held to just six yards on 11 carries.

Beyer quarterback Justin Usiak finished with 315 yards through the air, but 106 of those came on his final three passes, including a fluky 45-yard touchdown to Kaden Cline that was tipped by two Lancer defenders before landing in the streaking Patriot’s bread basket.

“We’re going to come out even harder next week,” Johnson said. “We’re still going after that championship.”
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