ANDERSON, Ind. — After spraining his ankle during a sectional loss on his home field, Anderson’s Tim Boyd thought he may have played his last high school game.
But Friday night in the Indiana Football Hall of Fame’s East-West Football Classic at Anderson High School, Boyd got one last shot to shine on his home turf.
With two rushing touchdowns, Boyd led the West to a 34-29 victory over the East squad.
With the exception of an early East interception, which the West team turned into a quick seven points, the first half was dominated on the ground for both teams.Boyd got into a rhythm late in the first quarter with a couple of two-yard runs before breaking one open up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown. Showing off his basketball skills, Boyd added a dunk through the goalpost, and an extra-point from Madison-Grant’s Austin Engle gave the West a commanding 14-0 lead with 46 seconds left in the first quarter.
“It felt great, especially when I got to dunk it in the goalpost because you know you don’t get to do that in the regular season,” Boyd said. “It felt really good.”
Though down 14 points, the East took the ball to the ground, led by the rushing attack of Pendleton Heights’ Jon Furrow. The Arabians senior, who did a little bit of everything Friday night – punting, rushing the ball and kicking extra-points – made his biggest impact of the evening with a couple runs midway through the second quarter.
Furrow nearly broke one around the right side for a touchdown but was tackled just a yard short of the score. He then punched it in up the middle on the next play and kicked the extra-point for good measure, bringing the East within seven points.
“I wasn’t really expecting to score cause I wasn’t expecting to get the ball much, but then it was open on the outside,” Furrow said. “It was exhilarating to get the first points up on the board and then kick the extra point.”
Both teams then traded passing touchdowns to end the half, with the West going into the locker room holding a 21-14 lead.
After both teams came up short on their next possession and were forced to punt, the West’s running game again seemed unstoppable. James Davis, from Western High School, carried the load as the West drove the ball down the field with little answer from the East.
When given the opportunity just seven yards short of the goal line, Boyd again cleaned up for his second touchdown of the evening. Engle kicked it through for the extra point to give the West its second 14-point lead of the game at 28-14.
But the East hadn’t given up quite yet. Furrow caught a few quick passes, each for four yards midway through the fourth quarter, and then Richmond’s Ben Parrish broke through for a 54-yard run to pull the East within just a single score, 28-21, as Furrow added the extra point.
With the ball back and one long drive from running the clock out, the West couldn’t come through, giving the East another opportunity. They quickly drove it back down and scored on a 10-yard pass from Lincoln’s Gary Renforth to New Castle’s Ben Thompson, and Parrish ran around the right end for the two-point conversion and a one-point East lead.
The West would not be outdone.
With just 54 seconds remaining, down one, a wide-open Joshua Sears caught a 34-yard pass down the left side to put the West ahead for good.
Even in the loss, Furrow said he enjoyed the opportunity for one last shot at the high school level, especially being thrown into a new system with new coaches and just a week to prepare.
“It’s tough having hard work in the summer when you’ve been out of shape and haven’t played football in a while,” Furrow said. “The guys played their hearts out, and it was a close game, and it just showed how much effort these guys put into it. Everyone is an all-star.”