RIVERVIEW — With the postseason out of reach and a losing season assured for the first time in 13 years, East Bay had only one thing to play for Friday against playoff-bound Spoto.
"Pride," East Bay coach Brian Thornton said. "That's why we put the pads on."
The Indians took the lead for good on a drive that spanned nearly the entire third quarter and their defense stiffened in the fourth as East Bay wrapped up its season with a 16-8 win against the Spartans.
"This game was about the guys leaving," senior fullback Chaz Burrows said. "And to get some momentum for the underclassmen coming back."
The Indians turned in a classic East Bay drive when they needed it most. Trailing 8-6 to start the second half, East Bay marched 70 yards on 17 plays down to the Spoto 3-yard line. The Indians finally stalled, but Forest Meredith converted a 20-yard field goal to cap the drive that ate up 9:55.
"That's what we like to do," Thornton said. "We kept their offensive studs on the sideline and used up almost the entire quarter."
After a quick three-and-out by Spoto, the Indians needed just more than four minutes to take a 16-8 lead when Burrows blasted up the gut from 11 yards out. Burrows, who ran for 121 yards on 18 carries, set up the score with a 40-yard run off right tackle.
"Our offense is like a motor," Burrows said. "It doesn't matter if we get 3 yards or 30 yards at a time, when we get going, it's hard to stop."
Rodney Williams got Spoto on the board first with a 4-yard run, and the Spartans added a two-point conversion on a fake kick. East Bay quarterback Fred Porter cut the lead to 8-6 in the second quarter with a 5-yard run.
Both teams finish the regular season 4-6, but the Spartans will travel to DeSoto on Nov. 21 for a region semifinal.
"That's the first losing season we've had since 1995," Thornton said. "We're not used to losing around here."