October 5, 2013

No relief for North Murray in Region 5-3A standings

By Jeff Rancudo

— North Murray High School coach David Gann believes his football team is getting better, and offensive and defensive improvements in recent games back him up.

Special teams, though, may get a little extra work next week.

The Mountaineers held the lead early in Friday night’s Region 5-3A matchup at Adairsville, but defending the Tigers’ kickoff returns proved troublesome in a 31-21 loss.

North Murray (1-5, 0-3) took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a touchdown run by Drake McCowan, who finished the night with 120 yards on 20 carries, including another rushing score. His first touchdown came after the Mountaineers shook off going three-and-out on their first possession by picking off an Adairsville (4-2, 2-1) pass to set up the scoring drive.

But the Mountaineers lead didn’t last long — Adairsville returned the ensuing kickoff to North Murray’s 5-yard line before tying it up with a touchdown and PAT two plays later. On North Murray’s next possession, the Tigers returned a North Murray fumble to the 5 for another short scoring drive.

Adairsville — which led 14-7, 17-7 and 24-14 at the quarter breaks — also returned a kickoff all the way for a touchdown later in the game.

North Murray quarterback Hinton McConkey finished with 125 rushing yards on 17 carries while completing 8 of 17 passes for 120 yards. He completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Adams for the Mountaineers’ other score but also had two interceptions.

“We continue to get better,” Gann said. “We’re making fewer and fewer mistakes. Adairsville’s a great football team, we were in it until the end and our kids never quit fighting.”

Outside of the kickoff return touchdown, Adairsville had three rushing scores and a field goal. The Tigers ran for 185 yards on 33 carries and completed 4 of 9 passes for 38 yards with an interception.