Murray County High School Indians

August 17, 2013

Another round of tests

Raiders, Indians see what needs work

CHATSWORTH — With high school football season two weeks away from opening for both Southeast Whitfield and Murray County, first impressions during Friday night’s scrimmage at Murray Field meant a lot to the coaches on both sides.

For Southeast coach Sean Gray, who’s preparing for his second season with the Raiders, his first thoughts were that his power-I package driven by seniors Rhett Harper at quarterback and Blake Foster at tailback looked ready to go. It was the spread package that needed some work.

For first-year Indians coach Chad Brewer — a former Southeast and Northwest Whitfield assistant — the message is that things aren’t nearly as bad as many believe. As the T-shirts in the crowd said, the past — which includes no wins earned on the football field since 2010 — doesn’t matter.

Varsity squads only took part in the first half of the scrimmage. Junior varsity and freshman teams took the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

The Raiders scored on their opening possession and were ahead 20-0 at the break.

With Harper at quarterback and with Foster as the driving running back — the two have played various positions over the years but have been starters since the first game of their freshman season — Southeast drove 80 yards in 12 plays to open the game. Austin Allen then returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown on Murray’s third offensive play for a quick 14-0 lead.

The Indians fumbled on their own 14 on their next possession, and Southeast took advantage of the short field as Foster scored from the 7 with 3:59 left in the first quarter. But the Raiders wouldn’t score again — which didn’t sit well with Gray but was encouraging to Brewer.

“I am a little disappointed right now because we seemed to let up after those early scores,” Gray said. “We have to do a better job of keeping the throttle down.”

Still, for a program that won just two games last season and hasn’t had a winning record in the past 26 seasons, the success of the Raiders’ proven offensive package and the shutout earned by their defense were reasons for optimism.

“Defensively, I loved our intensity,” Gray said.

“I saw a lot of big hits tonight, and it took us a long time to see those kinds of hits last season. It took a whole lot longer last year to hit like that.”

But the Raiders struggled when Harper and Foster moved out onto the perimeter and sophomore Will Swantic, a Calhoun transfer, was the trigger for the spread. Two fumbles and a third-down sack ended the next three Southeast possessions, and the end of the half finished the fourth.

“Our power package looked good, but the spread needs some work,” Gray said. “We did some things right, but we can’t have turnovers and breakdowns like we had.”

Gray’s disappointment in his team was the reason for Brewer’s optimism.

“It will take some time, but the one thing I have said is to get better each time you go out on the field,” Brewer said. “We gave up 20 points in the first quarter and then didn’t give up much in the second quarter. Southeast is a big, physical team compared to us, but we were pleased with some of the things we were able to accomplish. Defensively, we are trying to play more physical and with more intensity. We know it isn’t going to happen overnight, but I was very pleased.”

Murray County’s best drive came on its final possession as junior quarterback Justin Smith looking more comfortable in Brewer’s spread offense. But after driving from their own 20, the Indians were stopped at the goal line by an interception by Luis Fraire.

1
Text Only
Murray County High School Indians
  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014

  • cchs v st pius boys tennis3.jpg Can’t win ’em all: Colts fall to St. Pius X

    VARNELL — Just as in other matches this season, there were handshakes and hugs awaiting the members of Coahulla Creek High School’s boys tennis team as they walked off the court Monday.
    Unfortunately for the Colts, this time they were of the comforting rather than the congratulating variety.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS at SE soccer 7 mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats

    Replicating the start of last year’s Class 4A state title match, Dalton High School’s boys soccer team needed just four minutes to score its first goal at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
    The Catamounts scored five more — and again defended their crown of dominance in the sport.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Bruins power past Cats for key victory at home

    TUNNEL HILL — Similar to Wednesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series opener at Dalton High School, Northwest Whitfield fell behind early Thursday versus the Catamounts.

    April 11, 2014

  • Prep Roundup: Dalton golf teams in form at Fields Ferry

    Even in wet and muddy conditions, both the Dalton High School boys and girls golf teams are sharpening their games at the right time.
    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled in two weeks, both the Catamounts and the Lady Cats finished second during play at the Fields Ferry Invitational in Calhoun on Monday. Despite the soggy conditions, Dalton’s Jacob Brown tied for medalist honors with a 2-over par 74 to lead the Cats to a 313 combined score in the six-play, four-score format. Dalton finished three strokes behind tournament winner LaFayette.

    April 8, 2014