By Scott Kuhn
The North Murray Mountaineers overwhelmed the Ringgold Tigers on Friday, 45-17.
Ringgold took the early lead midway through the first quarter, driving 74 yards to score. The Tigers jumped up 7-0.
North Murray answered quickly — running back D’Ante Tidwell took a pitch from Ladd McConkey and bolted 83 yards for the score. The PAT kick tied the game at 7.
Ringgold then reclaimed the lead on a 46-yard TD pass and added the PAT.
Tidwell came through big again for the home team. He broke off a 61-yard run but the drive was stopped by an interception.
North Murray sliced the Tiger lead to 14-10 on a 31-yard field goal by Owen Hannah.
But Ringgold wasn’t done. The Tigers added a field goal and regained their seven point advantage at halftime.
The second half was a completely different story.
North Murray outscored Ringgold 35-0 over the final two quarters.
The Mountaineers went to the air for the their next score. Quarterback McConkey scrambled and then connected with Dylan Flood for a 45-yard touchdown. Hannah’s boot tied it at 17.
The Mountaineers took the lead for good on an 18-yard run by Tidwell. The TD was set up by a one-handed reception by Hayden Hulett.
Tidwell capped the next NM scoring drive with his third TD of the game, a 16-yard run with 10:50 left in the game. The Mountaineers moved 80 yards on that possession. That made it 31-17
Ringgold tried to rally and was able to drive down to the NM 26 before Landon Burrell came up with a drive-killing interception.
Burrell quickly heard his name called again when he was on the receiving end of a juggling 38-yard TD pass from McConkey. Hannah’s extra point made it 38-17 with 4:20 left.
Ringgold’s next drive also ended with a Burrell interception at the 42 yard line.
North Murray scored its final touchdown of the night when McConkey threw four yards to Chaisen Buckner.
McConkey, who missed last week with an injury, came back strong. He threw three TD passes. The victory improved the Mountaineers to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in region play.
Coach Preston Poag’s Mountaineers will take on region kingpin Calhoun on Friday night at 7:30.