By Tiffany Santos, TeamFYNSports Reporter:
The crisp October air set the tone for the friday night football game between the Murphy Bulldogs (7-2, 3-1) and Swain County Maroon Devils (5-4, 4-1). The last time Murphy went up against this rival, the Bulldogs handed the Maroon Devils a harrowing loss (35-3). October 20th’s game between the rivalry schools was a different story. The Bulldogs put up a great effort but fell short by a 2-pt loss with a final score of 29-27; Swain taking home the win and the bragging rights.
In the 1st Quarter, senior #12 Brodie Bowman from Swain County scored the first touchdown with a 9-yard blast to paydirt. However, #11 Tanner Wiggins’ PAT was no good. With the missed kick, Swain started the game with a lead of 6-0.
Murphy answered with a touchdown by senior quarterback (#1) Joey Curry, who threw a pass complete to senior receiver (#4) DeAndre Jackson for 58 yards. The PAT was spot on by senior kicker and female football superstar (#3) Katelyn Jones. With this touchdown Murphy led Swain 7-6 as the 1st quarter came to a close.
The 2nd quarter exploded with two touchdowns for Murphy, and two for Swain. It seemed like each team was coming in strong without backing down. With 0:51 seconds left in the 1st half, Murphy quarterback (#1) Joey Curry threw a 17-yard pass complete to (#2) Micah Nelson. Jones once again showed how she earned her jersey, making good on her PAT kick. The TD and PAT tied the score up 20-all going into halftime.
By the end of the 3rd, Murphy was leading Swain with a score of 27-26, but a 24-yard field goal was successfully attempted by Swain County #11 Tanner Wiggins, bringing the lead to Swain County with a 29-27 score. It’s safe to conclude that penalties and mental mistakes may have cost Murphy the game, as the Bulldogs were penalized a total of 14 times for 131 yards on the night.
Nearing the end of the 4th Quarter, a player for the Bulldogs made a mistake that put Murphy in a 4th and 72 play. The player recovered the ball that was fumbled by his own team, but mistakenly ran the wrong way. Thankfully a teammate was able to stop him from running any further.
“I ain’t blaming this on anybody, I blame this on everybody. Not just one side,” Murphy Bulldogs Coach Gentry told TeamFYNSports. “Everybody that stepped on this field tonight didn’t do their job. It’s that simple. It’s not what tonight is, it’s how you react to it, and how big you come back!”
All-in-all, the Bulldogs and Maroon Devils put up a good fight, but in the end the Maroon Devils were the ones to taste victory. Sportswriter’s note: They say those that never win, never learn from loss. From hearing Murphy’s head coach speak about this defeat, I believe the Bulldogs will be able to learn from this game and make any changes necessary to continue on the road to the State Championships.
The Murphy Bulldogs (7-2, 3-1) have a home conference game vs Rosman (2-7, 1-3) this Friday, October 27th, 2017 @ 7:30pm.
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