BYRON — Byron quarterback Jack Selon tossed four touchdowns Friday against Durand — with his favorite target being Josh Green, who hauled in 11 grabs for 145 yards and two scores.
But his biggest went to tight end Cole Staton.
Staton’s juggling 42-yard touchdown grab with 6:27 left broke a 30-30 tie and lifted Byron past Durand 44-30 in the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference opener for both teams.
Staton added a 6-yard scoring run with 2:30 left to cap the hard-fought victory for Byron, which improved to 1-1 and 1-0 in the MMAC.
Selon said he found Staton open and was surprised the receiver was able to haul it in.
“I heard everyone on the sidelines, screaming ‘Cole!’ said Selon, who completed 16 of 20 passes for 275 yards. “I looked downfield and he’s open. I threw it through a window and he caught it — he almost dropped it but he held onto it. He made a great catch.”
Staton said he was surprised himself that he was able to run another 20 yards after leaping high to make the stab.
“I was scared, I thought I dropped it,” Staton said. “And I bobbled it and managed to catch it. The next thing you know I just turned and started sprinting.”
Durand piled up 289 rushing yards to Byron’s 107. The Railroaders featured Kyle Winslow (12 carries for 107 yards), Tyler Purdy (13 for 101 and two TDs) and Jacob Lockhart (14 for 91 yards and one TD)
Durand head coach Rick Winbigler said his team battled through a lot of adversity after losing center Gavin Thomas to a leg injury on the third play from scrimmage — fighting back from deficits all night long.
“We had them and we played hard and we played aggressive,” Winbigler said. “It just came down to a couple of plays at the end.”
“It really just came down to the fourth quarter,” said Purdy. “I think we played our (butts) off tonight.”
Durand (1-1, 0-1 MMAC) trailed 22-14 at halftime but tied the game twice in the second half.
Early in the third quarter, after Winslow’s 45-yard run to the Eagles 5, Purdy scored on a 5-yard run and Jacob Lockhart added a two-point conversion jaunt to make it 22-all.
Casey Hatfield gave Byron a 28-22 lead on a 4-yard run with 6:15 left in the third. Green caught the two-point conversion pass and Byron led 30-22.
Durand, however, once again tied it when Lockhart scored on a 6-yard run and added a two-point conversion run with 11:38 left in the game.
In the first quarter Durand took an 8-0 lead when Purdy rushed 20 yards to paydirt on a fourth-and-12 play. Purdy added the two-point conversion. Byron answered with Selon’s 10-yard pass to Kooper Ciszewski later in the frame; Green caught the two-point conversion.
Durand went back up 14-8 on quarterback Trent Boisclair’s 9-yard TD run.
Selon then found Green for two TDs in the second quarter. The first was a 24-yard TD score with 6:16 left before half. The second was a 29-yard pass with 13.9 seconds left in the half. Ciszewski caught a two-point conversion after Green’s second TD grab.
Seth Bruce had eight tackles for Durand while Winslow and Daniel Sprague each had six.
Byron’s leading tackler was Casey Hatfield with 14 stops and Green with eight.
Selon led Byron’s rushing attack with 59 yards on 10 carries. Hatfield added 41 yards on seven carries, including a 4-yard scoring run in the third quarter.
BYRON 44, DURAND 30
Durand 8 6 8 8 — 30
Byron 8 14 8 14 — 44
DU: Tyler Purdy 20 run (Purdy run), 7:10.
BY: Kooper Ciszewski 10 pass from Jack Selon (Josh Green pass from Selon), 0:12.
DU: Trent Boisclair 9 run (conversion run failed), 7:48.
BY: Josh Green 24 pass from Selon (run failed), 6:16.
BY: Green 29 pass from Selon (Cooper Ciszewski pass from Selon), 0:13.
DU: Tyler Purdy 5 run (Jacob Lockhart run), 7:44.
BY: Casey Hatfield 4 run (Green pass from Selon, 6:15.
DU: Lockhart 6 run (Lockhart run), 11:38.
BY: Cole Staton 42 pass from Selon (run failed), 6:27.
BY: Staton 6 run (Green pass from Selon), 2:30.
First downs 15 18
Total yards 320 382
Rushes-yards 52-289 25-107
Passing 1-4-31 16-20-275
Penalties-yards 8-70 7-54
RUSHING: Byron — Team 25-107. Jack Selon 10-59, Casey Hatfield 7-41, TD. Durand — Team: 52—289. Kyle Winslow 12-107, Tyler Purdy 13-101, 2 TDs, Jacob Lockhart 14-91.
PASSING: Byron — Jack Selon 16-20-275, 4 TDs, 1 INT. Durand — Trent Boisclair 1-4-31.
RECEIVING: Byron — Josh Green 11-145, 2 TDs; Cooper Ciszewski 3-50, TD; Cole Staton 1-43, TD; Jaydon Jones 1-37.
DEFENSE: Byron — Casey Hatfield 14 tackles. Durand — Seth Bruce 8 tackles, Winslow 6 tackles, Daniel Sprague 6 tackles.
Records: Byron 1-1 (1-0 MMAC); Durand 1-1 (0-1 MMAC).