Sep. 18—CHATSWORTH — North Murray High School busted open what was a close contest Friday against visiting Coahulla Creek with a 17-point barrage in the first half’s final two minutes to pull ahead 31-10 on their way to a 52-30 victory.
North Murray quarterback Seth Griffin hit Jadyn Rice in stride down the sidelines to set North Murray up inside the 10, and Michael McDade’s 8-yard touchdown reception gave the Mountaineers a 21-10 lead with 1:48 left until halftime. Senior kicker Owen Hannah then recovered his own onside kick, and Judson Petty’s 48-yard touchdown catch increased the margin to 28-10 with 91 seconds remaining.
Petty them showed off his ball skills on defense, picking off Coahulla Creek quarterback Kace Kinnamon at midfield for Petty’s first of two interceptions in the game. Hannah’s 27-yard field goal as time expired provided a three-touchdown cushion heading to the second half.
“We saw this week on tape their up guys” on kick returns tended to bail out early, hence the onside kick call, and “Owen had a great kick, then jumped on it,” said North Murray’s head coach Preston Poag. “That was a big play in the game.”
In a matchup of Region 6-3A foes, Kinnamon gashed the home side’s defense for 38 yards on the first play from scrimmage, then later ripped off 16 more down to the 3 yard line before bruising running back Tyler Locklear plunged in for the game’s first score. However, on third-and-15, Griffin stepped up in the pocket, bought time, and found a wide-open McDade for a 47-yard touchdown that tied the game.
Griffin “and I have great chemistry,” said McDade, who recorded a personal-record four touchdown receptions Friday. “We stay after practice a lot and throw more.”
“Offensively, it was a clinic tonight,” and McDade “still made plays” even when double teamed, Poag said. “And if you key on him, we have other weapons on offense, like Jadyn Rice.”
Rice broke a half-dozen tackles for a 15-yard touchdown run that put the Mountaineers ahead 14-10 following a 37-yard field goal by Logan Fowler for the Colts, and then Rice’s long reception lit the fuse on North Murray’s 17-point bombardment at the end of the first half.
The Mountaineers, who beat the Colts last year by 14 points, scored 59 seconds into the second half on a 32-yard connection between Griffin and McDade.
“I saw a teammate in front of me and followed his block,” McDade said.
The Colts refused to capitulate, however, cutting the deficit to 21 on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Kinnamon to Manny Dominguez with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter, and then to 14 on a 38-yard pitch and catch from Kinnamon to Robbie Wiggins with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
“I was happy with our offense, but we really didn’t stop them” defensively, surrendering several long drives and “big plays, and missing too many tackles,” Poag said. “We were in position to make plays but missed tackles, and we need to get better.”
On the first play of the final quarter, Rice adroitly danced — as if executing a Bob Fosse routine to perfection — through the Colts defense for a 39-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 21. Locklear’s 7-yard touchdown run with 8:59 remaining would be the road side’s final score, and Fowler’s extra point attempt was blocked.
McDade then put the finishing touches on the offensive outburst with a 65-yard touchdown catch with 8:49 remaining in the contest.
“It was a post” route, McDade said. “I saw the cornerback on his heels, and I just blew by him.”
The Mountaineers (2-1, 1-1 in Region 6-3A) host region opponent Sonoraville Friday, while the Colts (2-2, 0-2 in Region 6-3A) host region foe Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe.