The East Mills football team exploded for 36 second quarter points to blow open a 6-6 ballgame en route to a 50-14 victory over Woodbine in a non-conference eight-man match up on Friday.
“That first quarter was pretty tough,” said Irwin, whose team was deadlocked at 6-6 with the Tigers heading into the decisive second quarter. “Then in that second quarter we just sort of exploded and kind of created some celebration at that point in the game. It was a very good night for us passing but part of that was because we were able to get the running game going.”
The Wolverines second quarter burst gave them a 42-14 halftime lead.
East Mills' 528 yards of total offense was a tw- season high. Senior running back Nathen Day had 149 of the Wolverines 183 rushing yards and scored twice. Quarterback Jake Bolton connected on 12-of-18 passes for 288 yards and four touchdown passes.
“We were real happy with how the kids played. For the first game, we played sort of like we've been playing (games) for a few weeks,” Irwin said. “It was surprising and very good to see that happen.”
Irwin was expecting a dogfight in his season opener. No one was more surprised than he was by the 36 point win.
“They still have big physical kids, a good receiver, their quarterback is an athletic kid. They were pretty solid,” Irwin said of the Tigers. “We were really hoping to get out of the game with a win. We really thought this would be a pretty tough game, so we were surprised at how this turned out.”
Defensively the Wolverines held Woodbine to 228 total yards, just 71 of those yards coming on the ground. Last season Woodbine racked up 190 yards on the ground in a game East Mills won 20-17 on a Bolton touchdown in the final minute. That was something Irwin and his team was determined not to let happen again.
“They really hurt us running the ball last year and we knew they would be the same physically, so we knew we had to stop the run,” said Irwin. “And I think we did a really good job with that. We didn't have just one guy, we had a lot of guys step up. All our linebackers had like eight, nine tackles each. It was evenly distributed.
“They read their keys and assignments well. We're pretty pleased with how we played.”
The Wolverines host state ranked No. 2 C-A-M on Friday in Malvern. Kick off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.