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Underwood rallies from 19 down to defeat East Mills

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    Underwood battled back from 19-0 against East Mills to score 28 unanswered points in a 28-19 victory over the Wolverines on Friday.
    East Mills (3-3 overall, 2-2 in the district) took advantage of three Underwood turnovers in the first half to build its lead. All three Eagle turnovers led to Wolverines scores.
    Caleb Barney got East Mills on the board early in the second quarter, scoring on an 88-yard run.
    Nick Pittmon followed that up with an 83-yard touchdown run of his own. Pittmon scored again before halftime on a three yard scamper.
    “We were able to capitalize on their turnovers with two fumbles and an interception. That was the big reason we were able to get up like we did,” said East Mills coach Andy Irwin.
    The Wolverines seemingly switched roles to open the second half, turning the ball over on both of their first two second half possessions. Underwood converted both into touchdowns to trim the lead to 19-14.
    “The first half they had the turnovers and the second half, we had them. That’s what edged them out,” Irwin said.
    Following the Eagles’ second touchdown, Travis Tupper returned the ensuing kick off for a 92-yard touchdown but the score was called back for a block in the back penalty. The Wolverines never seemed to recover.
    “We had our opportunities to seal it, but we just unfortunately had some things that didn’t go our way that hurt us in the second half,” Irwin said.
    Brady Johnson scored from 25 yards out to put Underwood up for good near the end of the third quarter.
    Irwin said Underwood picked up their defense in the second half, blitzing more and taking away the Wolverines’ outside running game.
    “They put a lot of pressure on us. We were still able to move the ball but they did a really good job adjusting,” Irwin said.
    The Wolverines finished with 236 total yards, all of it coming on the ground. Barney finished with 126 yards and Pittmon finished with 91 yards.
    Underwood finished with 348 total yards, 304 coming on the ground. Austin Asbra led Underwood with 167 yards rushing and a touchdown. Brady Johnson added two more scores on the ground and one through the air in the win.
    Michael Story keyed the Wolverine defensive effort with 17 tackles, including 10 solo stops and two tackles for loss.
    “Their coach came over to me after the game and said they could not block him. He really played a great game on defense,” said Irwin of Story.
    East Mills hosts A-H-S-T on Friday.