By Jimmy Espy, General Manager
SONORAVILLE — Murray County’s defense went into its game with Sonoraville last Friday on a hot streak. The Indians defense had surrendered a scant 40 points in the first four games of the year — the biggest factor in the team’s 3-1 start.
But the home team Phoenix riddled that proud defense for more than 400 yards total offense, including 182 passing by quarterback Brady Lackey, in a 34-3 win. Lackey threw three TD passes.
“Their quarterback played an outstanding game,” said Murray County Coach Chad Brewer. “They did a good job of getting the football to the players who could make plays. They were really good on third down.
“Our defense has to do a better job getting off the field,” Brewer added. “Our offense has to move the ball better and give our defense a break.”
Sonoraville established the tone of the game on its first drive. Starting at its 32, the Phoenix moved 68 yards in 12 plays, setting up a one-yard plunge by Blade Bryant.
The second Phoenix drive went further, faster. Sonoraville traversed 88 yards on five plays. Colton Whitehead ripped off a 39-yard run and on third and 7 before Lackey hit Josh Kushmaul with an 11-yard pass for the first down. On the next play Lackey found Bryant for a 35-yard TD pass.
On its first two scoring drives, Sonoraville converted on all four third down opportunities.
“That hurt us,” Brewer said. ‘We coudn’t get them off the field.”
Sonoraville made it 21-0 with 1:30 left in the first half when Lackey connected with Colton Richards for a 21-yard TD pass.
Sonoraville rolled up 245 yards of total offense in the half, with Lackey throwing for 165.
Murray replied with 69 yards, 39 on the ground. The Indians ran only 18 plays from scrimmage.
Murray needed a fast start to the second half but didn’t get it.
On their first possession the Indians went for it on fourth and 1 but quarterback Kaleb Jones was swallowed up for a two-yard loss. The resulting short field helped Sonoraville pad its lead to 27-0 when Bryant scored from three-yards out.
Sonoraville added a fourth touchdown on a crisp seven-play, 75 yard drive. Lackey found Richards open from the Murray 4 for the TD.
Murray finally answered. In the fourth quarter the Indians put together a good drive. Starting at their 32, they drove to the Sonoraville 6 before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Elber Romero.
Cade Petty took over briefly at quarterback when Jones got banged up. Petty quickly found Brannon Nuckolls for 16 yards on a pass. Petty’s pounding 13-yard run on third and seven was the best offensive play of the night for Murray County. Davis Redwine added a 12-yard run to the nine before the defense stiffened and the call went out to Romero.
“They’re a spread offense with a lot of weapons,” said Brewer. “Against a team like that we have to control the ball better. Instead of us winning the time of possession battle, they did.”
“We had some success up the middle,” Brewer noted. “Jon Dooley had some good runs. But we didn’t block well on the perimeter. Our A-backs and receivers are going to have to do a better job blocking.”
Brewer praised Sonoraville.
“That’s a good football team,” he said. “They were better than us but I don’t feel like we gave them our best game.”
Statistics and notes
The game was played with only a few minutes delay and in dry conditions, unlike many rain-soaked encounters around the region … Senior Adam Corral had an interception … Carson Voiles and Gabe Stanley each had a sack … Stanley led the defense with seven tackles …Cade Petty, Wally Underwood and Tyler Hayes each had six … Hayes left the game early with a sore neck … Jon Dooley led with 33 yards rushing … Brannon Nuckolls had two catchs for 27 yards … Lincoln Puryear had two catches for 24 yards …
A red hot North Murray squad will come to Chatsworth on Friday for a showdown at 7:30 p.m. The Mountaineers are 4-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 6 AAA. They have won four straight, including a victory over Calhoun at Calhoun.
“We’ll have our hands full,” Brewer said. “The good thing is it’s home game for us and we are unbeaten at home this year.”
Brewer said he’s impressed with what he’s seen of North Murray.
‘We’re going to be playing the best North Murray team I’ve seen, probably the best they ever had,” Brewer said.
‘We’re going to have to play with the kind of fire and desire we’ve had most of this season, Brewer said.