EUREKA - The District 7-B champion Eureka Lions advanced to the second round of the Class B football playoffs with a 21-14 victory against Florence on Saturday afternoon.
After a tough battle on defense, the Lions (7-1) scored the first touchdown of the game with only seconds remaining in the first half. Dalton Williams hauled in a 27-yard scoring toss from Colin Gillard.
The score proved to be the difference as both teams traded touchdowns the rest of the way.
"It started out being a great defensive struggle," Eureka coach Ed Newell said. "The two teams kind of figured each other out and we were both able to string some touchdowns together in the second half."
Florence opened the second half with its first score to tie the game at 7-7. Spencer Burns hit Craig Ashworth with a 23-yard TD pass.
Eureka tried to answer, putting together a drive that took them all the way to Florence 3-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.
Three plays later, the Lions recovered by picking off a pass that eventually led to a touchdown and a 14-7 Eureka advantage. Chad Price scored that one on a 14-yard run.
"I think that was a big play for us," Newell said. "We don't have the biggest kids up here, but we play with a lot of heart. We're excited about moving on."
Ashworth tied the game on a 3-yard scoring pass from Burns, but Eureka answered with a 1-yard run by Williams for the winning points.
Williams scored two touchdowns and had 175 total yards, including 125 yards rushing on 27 carries. Price also rushed for more than 100 yards, tallying 116 on 22 carries.
Senior Ben Dechart anchored the Lions' defense with 19 tackles, an interception and a pair of sacks.
Florence ended its season with a 5-3 record.
Florence 0 7 7 7 - 21
Eureka 0 0 7 7 - 14
E - Dalton Williams 27 pass from Colin Gillard (Chad Price kick)
F - Craig Ashworth 23 pass from Spencer Burns (Zach Newberry kick)
E - Price 14 run (Price kick)
F - Ashworth 3 pass from Burns (Newberry kick)
E - Williams 1 run (Price kick)