By Doug Hawley
Scoring on their first five possessions of the game Friday night, the Christian Heritage Lions roared past Murray County, 51-0.
This verdict was eerily similar to last year’s 55-7 game. Christian Heritage (Region 6A-A) evened its record at 1-1, while Murray (7A-2A) fell to 0-2 and saw its losing streak extended to 20 games.
“We obviously played well on both sides of the ball,” Lions coach Preston Poag said. “We just have to take care of the ball and play great defense. We stressed to them to not let up coming out for the second half.”
The Lions had five turnovers in the season-opening loss to Model, but against the Indians, they limited that to just one interception.
Christian Heritage led 31-0 at halftime and continued to display the same intensity over the final 24 minutes.
Quarterback Trevor Brown tossed three touchdown passes on the evening.
He completed 14-of-22 passes for 204 yards.
“We stressed all week to have the better of the turnover margin,” Brown said. “We had better balance this week (than in the loss to Model).”
Christian Heritage amassed 510 yards total offense, including 295 rushing and 215 passing. In the shutout, the defense limited the Indians to 173 yards on 119 passing and 54 running.
Three receivers grabbed touchdown tosses from Brown: Will Fischer, 46 yards; Nich Bartley, 35 yards; and Austin Lowe, 20 yards.
Lightning-quick freshman Ahmaad Turner scored two touchdowns on runs of 18 and 12 yards. He also emerged as the leading rusher with 115 yards on 11 carries. Matt Cook added 76 on a dozen attempts, and Lowe chipped in 67 on eight carries.
Matt Cook also tallied two TDs on the ground from 5 and 20 yards. Hunter Dixon kicked a 25-yard field goal and was 5-of-5 extra points.
Bartley and Fischer caught five passes each. The former accounted for 83 yards and the latter 78.
“The shutout is big,” said linebacker Evan Townsend, a leader of the defense. “The defense really stepped it up. We hope that the momentum will continue.”
Devin Smith got two turnovers for the Lions defense with an interception and a fumble recovery. Lowe had an interception.
Coach Chad Brewer’s Indians had the opportunity to avoid a shutout on Justin “Jug” Smith’s 43-yard touchdown throw to Jordan Walls late in the first half.
However, a penalty nullified the score.
Smith, who received extensive pressure throughout the game, did manage 86 passing yards. Brandon Smith caught three passes for 46 yards.