Murphy’s Will Joyner and Will Shore Contribute to Murphy’s Final Non-Conference Win
Murphy 51 New Faith Christian Academy 14
By Brandon Stephens
(Murphy) – – Where there is a Murphy “Will” there is a way to make big plays. Murphy’s Senior Kicker is taking bigger roles and action on the field above and beyond his trademark kicks and punts. Junior Will Shore has been waiting in the wings to run the ball and back up players like Hunter Stalcup and Trenton Russell. Both Wills are making big waves on the football scene with some new steps in Murphy playbook. Joyner had the unique opportunity to post the Bulldog’s third touchdown and kick the Point After Touchdown (PAT) field goal. Will Shore helped light up the night with good defensive play with an interception and a 20-yard touchdown pass play from Brady Grant to contribute six points.
The early moments of the game is probably raising some eyebrows because New Faith Christian Academy (NFCA) (0-5) had the early lead on a Murphy (4-1) 6-0 after fumble was recovered and taken to touchdown town on a 46-yard run. The score came after the Bulldog’s second possession that resulted in a fumble. From 46 yards out the Titans easily ran its first touchdown. Not wasting any time, Murphy used 2:01 of time on 8 plays to go fifty yards to score its first touchdown on a two-yard run by Hunter “Rhinestone Cowboy” Stalcup to score. Will Joyner hit the PAT. Murphy never looked back and maintained the lead. After the next Titan possession, Murphy Quarterback Brady Grant orchestrated single play for a 27-yard pass to Sophomore Receiver Ryan Payne for the next touchdown. Stalcup ran a two-point conversion.
The second quarter and third touchdown is the stage where Murphy illustrated more efficient offense. The Bulldogs only needed three plays and :40 to go back to end zone with Will Joyner for a three-yard run for touchdown. Joyner hit the PAT to make the score Murphy 22 and NFCA 6. The Titans threw the ball away to Will Shore on its fourth play and set up the fourth Bulldog touchdown. Murphy went 51 yards on 5 plays in 1:20 to send Stalcup to touchdown town. Joyner nailed the PAT. The Bulldogs appeared to be scoring on each offensive possession. After a couple of incomplete passes, Grant loaded the gun and hit Kenyon Nichols for a seven-yard touchdown pass play and handed off to Stalcup for a two-point conversion. The halftime score is Murphy 37 NFCA 6.
Freshman Cameron Clem is still bringing Bulldog fans to their feet. Clem returned the second half opening kick 69 yards for a touchdown. Joyner continued to park the PAT. Deep in its own territory, NFCA fumbled the football on the 20 yard line. Grant zeroed in on Will Shore for a 20-yard pass play to score the final Bulldog touchdown. Joyner made the PAT look easy. With the score Murphy 51 NFCA 6, the game went to a rolling or non-stop clock. Murphy pulled many of its starters and began running Adam Cook at Quarterback, Dalton Farmer at Running Back. Chandler “Steve” Nernes fielded a punt. NFCA was able to work in one more touchdown and brought the final to Murphy 51 NFCA 14.
Getting Ready for Smoky Mountain Conference Play
The Murphy Bulldogs utilized the game to continue to work on some of its offensive execution and sharpen the saw as it will begin play against tough Smoky Mountain Conference opponents in the next few weeks. Quarterback Brady Grant the next few weeks will be exciting.
The next week may call on the Bulldogs for its next man to “man” up. People like Will Joyner may be moved to the front of the Murphy play card. Playing good assignment football was key to getting the lead and maintaining control according to Joyner. It was also special for a player to score all seven points in a touchdown series.
Getting another win feels good. For Murphy Head Coach Joseph Watson it was good to see the Bulldogs build its bandwidth on offense and defense. Coach Watson says it’s time to focus on the second phase of the season, Smoky Mountain Conference (SMC) play.
Murphy will hold its SMC home opener this coming week with Hayesville. The Yellow Jackets are 4-1 with its last win against NFCA 56-to-6. Hayesville’s running offense is led by Taylor McClure who has tallied seven touchdowns and followed by Sophomore Running Back Tre Graves. While the Yellow Jackets have not built its offense on passing, Junior Quarterback Tate Roberts has been completing 60 percent of his passes. Stay in touch with Team FYN Sports this week for more details on the Murphy versus Hayesville game, which will kick off at Bob Hendrix Stadium/David Gentry Field Friday (September 29th) at 7:30. Inside the SMC will air on Team FYN Sports Thursday night at 8PM.
Murphy fans and alumni are in awe of the outstanding homecoming court presented on Friday night. Congratulations to Michelle Hernandez being crowned the 2023-2024 Homecoming Queen. Hernandez was escorted by Chad Perry.