For Zac Freeman, the play was just like practice.
Each Monday and Tuesday, the Dade County Wolverines run through a bit of tomfoolery — the fake punt.
On Friday night against the North Murray Mountaineers, Dade County finally ran the play.
And it worked to perfection.
Trailing 26-23 midway through the fourth quarter and facing fourth-and-18, Freeman took the snap as one of the upbacks and scampered 48 yards for a touchdown. The gutsy call was the decisive score as Dade County beat North Murray 30-26 at Mountaineer Stadium.
“I’ve never ran it,” Dade County coach Bradley Warren said. “I just thought, ‘You know, I’ve got a chance here.’ I looked at the defense they had set up, and they had punt safe, I saw it and thought if we hit it fast we’d score and that’s what we did.
The loss dropped North Murray to 0-2, but coach David Gann was impressed with his team’s effort.
“I’m very, very proud of our kids,” Gann said. “That’s the best we have played and they continue to keep playing hard. The thing I’m going to tell them is our first three games are warmup games to get ready for (Region 5-3A competition). Our goal is still intact and that is to get into the playoffs and be one of the top four teams in our region.”
Last season at Dade County (1-1), North Murray won in a shootout, 57-44, so Warren expected there were going to be plenty of points scored this time around.
“It was an emotional shot for us,” Warren said. “I felt like going in it was going to be a slugfest. I knew it was going to be a barnburner one way or another.”
The fake punt certainly fit that description.
It gave Dade County the lead for good, but North Murray had a scoring chance late in the game. The Mountaineers began the drive at the 50 with 7:24 left in the game. After advancing to the Dade County 27-yard line, quarterback Hinton McConkey was stopped for a short gain that would have resulted in a third-and-short situation.
But after the play, North Murray was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The offense was left with third-and-26. On that play, McConkey threw an interception. With about four minutes remaining in the game, Dade County was able to run out the clock.
For Zac Freeman, the play was just like practice.
- North Murray High School Mountaineers
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.
Prep Baseball Roundup: Raiders out of hunt for the playoffs
Needing a win to keep Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball season meaningful, Raiders coach Brad Lofton turned to a pair of senior pitchers on Friday at Heritage-Catoosa.
The seniors didn’t disappoint, but it was the offense and the defense that couldn’t come through.
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.
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.
All-Area Wrestling Team and Wrestler of the Year: Winning another title was the only goal for Wheeler
When Dalton High School wrestler Sidney Wheeler won a state title for the first time two years ago as a sophomore, he admitted he became a little complacent about what it would take to replicate the feat — perhaps not noticeably so to most observers, but enough to take success for granted. Wheeler believed it a matter of course that he would win state again, and he thought the second title would simply be the middle child in a high school three-peat.
Prep Roundup: N. Murray’s offense shut down by Canes
North Murray High School’s baseball team may not be among the group tied for first place in Region 5-3A, but the Mountain-eers are sitting fairly comfortably in fourth place.
If the regular season ended today, that would still put North Murray in the state playoffs for the first time.
Prep softball: N. Murray’s Silvers heads to Covenant
In just about every part of the recruiting process, Covenant College did a little extra to show its interest in Sarah Silvers.
It spoke volumes to the North Murray High School softball player.
Prep soccer: Morris boys earn Class 2A ranking
It’s nothing new for a local high school boys soccer team to be among those in the eurosportscoreboard.com state rankings.
It is new for that team to be Morris Innovative.
Prep roundup: SE offense keeps foot on throttle
As long as Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball team continues to hit the ball and score runs the way it has so far this season, it really won’t matter what the defense does.
Coach Brad Lofton still likes how the Raiders’ fielding is improving.
Prep Roundup: A little bit of momentum
Neither Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey nor North Murray coach David Redmond has had much reason to complain about their offensive production this season.
Defense is another matter.
- More North Murray High School Mountaineers Headlines
- Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats