Ty Laney scores 4 TDs as Dogs beat Braves 43-21

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Photo courtesy of BT Douthit


The Murphy Bulldogs faced the Cherokee Braves on senior night Friday night, in the Dogs last home game of this shortened season.

The Dogs came into the game 5-0 and riding a 50 point offensive performance in their previous game in which the beat Rosman.

Cherokee came into the game 2-3, trying to get to .500 on the year and squeeze into the playoffs.

The Braves were no match for the Dogs however, as Murphy poured it on and won the game 43-21.

Sophomore Running Back Ty Laney started things off for the Bulldogs, scoring back to back Touchdowns in the first quarter that put his team up 14-0.

Cherokee QB Don Bradley answered back in the 2nd however, tossing a TD pass to wideout Chase Calhoun.

It wasn’t long before the other Sophomore RB in the Dogs backfield got started though, as John Ledford punched one in from 47 yards out. Annie-Kate Dalton then hit a 27 yard Field Goal that sent the Dogs into the locker room with a 24-7 lead at the half.

The third quarter didn’t see much action. Ty Laney of the Bulldogs and Anthony Allison of the Braves traded scores and it was 30-14 Murphy headed into the Fourth.

In the Fourth quarter, Ty Laney scored his 4th and final touchdown of the night, which was followed by a 68 yard punt return TD for Juan Allen that put Murphy up 43-14. Cherokee found the endzone one more time before the night was over, yet the Dogs prevailed 43-21.

Murphy will travel to Robbinsville on Friday night to play the defending State Champion Black Knights in the Smoky Mountain Conference Championship game.

Bulldogs Trample Swain County, Remain Unbeaten

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Photo from MHS Athletics Facebook page.


Murphy, NC.- A conference matchup that has given us some instant classics over the years was on hand again Friday night, as the Bulldogs took on the Maroon Devils in the annual Murphy-Swain game.

In a one point game against the Maroon Devils last season Head Coach David Gentry broke the North Carolina all time wins record, which just added another chapter into this historic rival between these two teams.

It always seems like its a close game when Murphy and Swain play and for the past decade it has been, but this year the bulldogs had their number from the start. Murphy defeated Swain 39-7.

The Murphy High School football team has really come into their own as the season has progressed. Each game, and each quarter really we have seen growth from this young team. The first game of the season against Andrews left Bulldog fans with a lot of questions and uncertainty about what to expect from their team, but over the past 3 games those questions have been answered. When the Bulldogs are able to pass the ball as well as run it down their opponents throats, they are capable of beating any team in the state.

Game Notes:

Sophomore RB Ty Laney got the Dogs on the board with a 2 yard TD run at the 7:15 mark in the first quarter.

Kellen Rumfelt found Ty Laney underneath for a 5 yard TD pass with 8:53 left in the second.

John Ledford scored from 21 yards out with 3:32 left in the 3rd quarter to put the Dogs up 21-7.

Annie-Kate Dalton connected on a 21 yard Field Goal to start the 4th and make it 24-7 Murphy.

Rumfelt found McCracken on a 9 yard TD pass with 8:48 left in the game.

Cole Laney ran it in from the 18 yard line for the final score of the game, as the Dogs won 39-7.


Murphy Kicks Off Season With 33-6 Win Over Andrews

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Murphy, NC- North Carolina High School football fans finally got to see their teams take the field last night, an act that some thought would never happen this year.

With schedules being changed and seasons getting moved around, there was so much doubt surrounding this season that it seemed like the community was able to breath a sigh of relief as they saw the ball fly through the air on that opening kickoff.

The Bulldogs played host to the Andrews Wildcats in the opening game of both teams seasons.

After a stellar start to the game by the Wildcats, Murphy was able to buckle down in the second half, pulling away from Andrews and winning 33-6.

Game Notes:

Murphy won the toss and elected to kick and thanks to a BIG hit from their special teams unit, they were able to force a fumble and recover the ball on the opening kickoff, giving the Dogs great field position to start the game.

The Andrews Defense came up big and made a goal line stand. On offense the Wildcats drove the ball 98 yards and were able to score the first points of the game on a 22 yard pass from Donovan Bateman to Spencer Bateman.

That would be the only time that the Wildcats were able to find the endzone however, thanks to subsequent scores from Ray Rathburn, John Ledford, Ty Laney and Juan Allen.

Ray Rathburn was the bell cow for the Bulldogs, scoring 2 TD’s and rushing for 90 yards. Juan Allen was right behind Rathburn on the stat sheet, thanks to a 50 yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs were never really able to get anything going through the air, which is something that Head Coach David Gentry said they will have to do going forward when I spoke with him postgame.

The Bulldogs host the Franklin Panthers in their next game on Friday March 5th. You can watch all Murphy home football games LIVE on FYNTV.com, including their bout this coming week against the Panthers.

If you want a sneak peak look into what to expect out of the Franklin Panthers next Friday, tune into FYNTV.com on Monday @ 6:00, as we will be bringing that game to you LIVE also.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Peyton McCraken, no. 3

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Peyton McCracken was a force to be reckoned with in the Bulldogs game against Life Christian Academy. For this effort, he is the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Murphy Bulldogs!

On the first play of the Bulldogs’ first possession, quarterback Kellen Rumfelt connected with Peyton for a 72 yard touchdown pass! This score gave the Bulldogs an early lead of 6-0. Peyton would score twice more throughout the game after catching passes from Rumfelt.

Congratulations to Peyton McCracken- the TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week in the game against Life Christian Academy!

Bulldogs Fall to Christ School 27-7

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The Murphy Bulldogs hung tough for three quarters of play against Christ School of Asheville, which we will now refer to as University of Christ School. Last week we talked about two different cultures meeting and the challenges that it cause each team to face. This week Murphy was in an unusual position for them. They found themselves on the short end of the stick. 

Christ School has the luxury of recruiting players from all over Western North Carolina and other states, by offering a college prep education to students who if they were not playing football would cost around $30,000 a year. The argument is heard loudest around metro areas where these schools are more prevalent, but it has now made its way to WNC.

A runner for a Murphy touchdown. Image credit: hudl

Teams with the same number of students as a 1A public school, boasting of six to eight D1 commits playing football. The attrition finally got to the Bulldogs midway through the fourth quarter.  Murphy trailed 14-7 midway through the fourth. The dogs had scored on their first possession and went up 7-0, when Murphy scored in two plays after a Rumfelt pass to Justice Dorset set up a 43 yard touchdown scamper by Devonte Murray for a Bulldog touchdown. 

Christ School’s passing game was held in check most of the night by the Bulldog defense, but Christ School running back Pierce Hammonds found running the ball much more productive. Hammonds set up the Greenies first touchdown with a long run down to the Murphy 9 yard line. Quarterback Navy Shuler found former Cherokee Brave, Cade Mintz, in the end zone for a touchdown.  Ayden White added the two point conversion and Christ School took the lead for good 8-7. 

Shuler’s passing game was pretty much held in check in the first half, limiting him to only 6 completions in 18 tries for 86 yards. Unfortunately for the Dogs they didn’t have an answer for Hammonds. After a long pass play that set Christ School up in the red zone, Hammonds hit pay dirt again from nine yards out and the point attempt was wide. Christ School led 14-0 to finish out the half. 

Hammonds put the game away for the Greenies. After two stops by the Murphy defense inside the red zone, Hammonds broke loose on his second touchdown of the night for a 33 yard run. Point attempt was good  and Christ School led 21-0. Wanting to add salt to the wound, Christ School added another touchdown late in the fourth on a 19 yard strike from Shuler to Ayden White. That was the final score- Christ School 27 Murphy 7.

Dogs will host Life Christian Academy next Friday at David Gentry Field in Murphy.

“The Force” not with The Georgia Force against Murphy

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A special report from the voice of the Murphy Bulldogs, J.R. Carroll!

The Georgia Force’s pregame sign read “Murphy Who”, and the Bulldogs took the sign as an insult and showed their displeasure with it on the first offensive play they ran. The Force took the opening kickoff and went three and out. 

After a punt, Murphy was set up on the 20 yard line. Kellin Rumfelt handed off to Devonte Murray on a sweep to the right side. After shedding three tacklers, Murray raced 80 yards for a touchdown. That started an onslaught of scoring by the Dogs en route to a 40-9 drubbing of the Sugar Hill, Georgia team. 

Devonte Murray carries for the Bulldogs. Image credit: hudl

Murray would lead a Bulldog rushing attack that netted 563 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with 13 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns. 

The scoring in the first quarter continued after another change of possession. Justice Dorsey broke loose on a 76 yard run for the second Bulldog score. Point attempt was good and Murphy led 14-0, but the Murphy scoring hadn’t finished in the first quarter. 

After another four and out by the Force, Ray Rathburn, who finished with nine carries for 94 yards and a touchdown, hit paydirt from 6 yards out. The point attempt failed and Murphy led 20-0 at the end of the first stanza.

The Force got their first scoring opportunity in the second quarter when they intercepted an errant Rumfelt pass on their own 24 yard line, stopping the fourth Murphy drive. They were unable to move the ball and Murphy got the ball back around their own 49 yard line. 

Another Murphy miscue turned the ball over to the Force as the Force recovered a Murphy fumble around the Bulldog 41 yard line. After a couple of first downs the Force was held on third down and kicked a successful 20 yard field goal making the score 20-3. 

After a failed onside kick, Murphy was in great scoring position from the five yard line. Rumfelt rolled out and found Murray for a 5 yard touchdown strike. The two point conversion attempt failed and Murphy led 26-3 at halftime. 

Murphy took the second half kickoff and capped off the drive as Murray hit paydirt for the third time on a three yard rush. Point attempt by Luke Ritz was good and Murphy led 33-3. Murphy let some of their younger talent finish out the game. Neither team threatened to score in the third period. 

Murphy gave sophomore Chandler Wood a chance to show his stuff in the fourth stanza and he took full advantage of the opportunity. He had two long touchdown runs that were negated by penalties, and the penalties in this game were numerous. 

Wood finished his night with 13 rushes for 81 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown came in the fourth quarter with a 7 yard touchdown. Ritz’s kick was good and Murphy led 40-3. 

The Forces’ lone touchdown came later in the fourth quarter when Stacey Walker returned the kickoff for a 72 yard score. Point attempt was no good and that netted the final score 40-9. 

Two different cultures met in this game and when that happens you always have a learning curve of the way things are done in the other teams’ environment. The game was kept much closer by flags at critical times. Murphy was penalized 19 times for 165 yards. The Force had 12 of their own for 115 yards.

The Murphy offense lined up for a play. Image credit: hudl


The Force, who relied heavily on their passing game, went 12 for 24 for only 109 yards. Rumfelt completed six for twelve for 84 yards and a touchdown. Murphy had 563 yards total offense while the Forces’ gained 200 yards, many of those coming in late in the third and fourth quarter. 

Next week the Bulldogs host the number one ranked team in western North Carolina. The Christ School, led by Appalachian State commit Navy Shuler at quarterback, comes to David Gentry Field. Navy is the son of former University of Tennessee and NFL quarterback Heath Shuler. 

Join on Thursdays for the Smoky Mountain Conference Report from 8 to 9 on FYN Sports as we will have Heath on the show. Kickoff for the game Friday night is at 7:30 p.m.

Dogs edge Franklin 15-7

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A special report brought to you by the voice of the Murphy Bulldogs- J.R. Carroll!

Murphy overcame mistakes and turnovers to beat the Franklin Panthers in the Pit at Franklin  15-7.

Franklin took the opening kick and scored when Seth Price of the Panthers hit paydirt with a 25 yard.

The PAT was good and Franklin led 7-0.

On the ensuing drive Murphy drove down to the 10 yard line . After two penalties and an errant snap they found themselves in a fourth and goal from the 20 yard line. Franklin held and took over around the 17. Franklin went four and out.

The Murphy Bulldogs celebrate a touchdown!

Murphy again was driving and got down to the ten yard line. After another penalty moved the dogs back to the 15 a pass to Devote Murray was stripped by a Panther defender and returned to the Panther 46. Rumfelt made a touchdown saving tackle on the play. Franklin moved the ball down to the 25 of Murphy before the Dog defense stiffened and took over on downs.

Murphy would not be denied a third time. After a 50 plus yard reception from Rumfelt to Peyton McCraken, which set the Dogs up at the panther 25, Murphy picked up a first down at the 9 yard line. Three plays later Rumfelt found McCraken again for 6 points. After an offside penalty from Panthers, Murphy decided to go for two on the PAT. Murray scored the two and Dogs led Franklin 8-7. They would not relinquish that lead the rest of the night. Despite having two turnovers and a rash of penalties Murphy went in at the half with the 8-7 lead.

Murphy took the opening kick in the second half, and drove down to 25. The Rumfelt to Murray connection, which was deadly all night, connected again for a 25 yard TD. The PAT was good and Murphy led 15-0. Franklin resorted to a series of QB runs before they went back to their regular offense. The Panthers moved down to the 5 yard line, and did not make a first down on a fourth down play. Four plays later Rumfelt rolled out and found Justice Dorsey for an 85 yard reception but a block in the back penalty negated most of the gain.

The Murphy Bulldogs score on a touchdown pass.

That was the last time anyone threatened to score as both teams played a very tough defense.

Murphy finished the night with 186 yards rushing, with Devonte Murray accounting for 143 of those yards. Murray also tacked on another 66 yards on the receiving end. Rumfelt was 10 for 16 for 160 yards.

Bulldogs begin 2019 season with tough win

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Murphy, N.C. – A pair of tough touchdown runs and a stingy defense was the difference Friday night as the Murphy High football team knocked off Pisgah, 12-0, to open the 2019 campaign.

The defending 1A state-champion Bulldogs kept the visiting Bears out of the end zone, while senior running back Devonte Murray managed to force his way to two scores and secure the win for Murphy.

“I’ll take this win. I’d rather have an ugly win than a pretty loss,” Murphy head coach David Gentry said after the game. “We’ve been an offensive team since I’ve been here, but it just didn’t sync tonight, mainly because we were snapping so bad. It’s going to get better, it’ll just take a lot of snaps.”

Senior Brady Satterfield, who usually handles the snapping duties for the Bulldogs, is out with a knee injury, forcing Gentry to slide junior Dallas Rayburn from guard to center.

Despite a few miscues between Rayburn and sophomore quarterback Kellen Rumfelt, who fumbled the ball twice but managed to recover both, the Bulldogs were able to stay organized and come out with the win.

“We’ll be better next week,” Gentry said. “We’ve got to mix in some passes and stuff like that. We’re a young football team, and we are going to get better.”

Rumfelt only attempted three passes on the night, completing one to sophomore Payton McCracken for just one yard.

Murray, who finished the night with 149 yards on 18 carries, managed to break through late in the first half for the first of his two scores. The extra-point try was unsuccessful and the Bulldogs went into halftime with a 6-0 lead.

“(Murray) wouldn’t have scored that first touchdown if he wasn’t so strong,” Gentry said. “He was hit and should have probably went down, but he works hard in the weight room and he managed to fight through that and get in the end zone.”

With a 6-0 lead late in the game, Murray managed to spin his way into the end zone to put the Bulldogs up 12-0 with a minute left to go.

Murphy also benefitted from two forced turnovers as Rumfelt and junior Ray Rathburn each recovered fumbles on defense in the first half.

Rathburn also carried the ball 11 times for 37 yards, while adding an interception late in the game.

In a game that was played mostly near midfield, the Bulldogs received solid play along the offensive and defensive line, anchored by junior Yousef Mugharbil and senior Colby Stalcup.

Mugharbil, who is 6-foot-5 and more than 300 pounds, consistently put opposing lineman on their backs all night.

“He’s got seven or eight (scholarship) offers already from division-one schools,” Gentry said of Mugharbil. “So we expected him to play well, and he did.”

Mugharbil, along with several other players, battled cramps late in the game, but Gentry said that will be addressed during the upcoming week.

“They weren’t as in shape as they should be, and that’s my fault. Better hydration and better conditioning, and we’ll take care of that,” the coach said after the game.

Up next for Murphy is Franklin High. The Bulldogs won last season’s game 35-14 at home, but will travel to Franklin this season and Gentry expects the Panthers to be ready.

“It’s always been tough over there on us. We handled them pretty good last season, and I don’t think they appreciated that, so they’ll be ready for us,” Gentry said.

Pre-season football interview with Murphy Bulldogs head coach David Gentry

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Head coach David Gentry of the Murphy Bulldogs is a legend in North Carolina. In just seven wins, Gentry will be the winningest high school football coach in North Carolina history. But to Gentry, the next game is just the next game.

“How do you win 400 games? You don’t certainly start coaching in 1971, when I first became head coach, and [say] ‘Well, I’m gonna win 400 games’,” said Gentry. “I just wanna go ahead and win as many games as I can this year, like I always do, and hope that it’s enough to get that record.”

Without a doubt, Gentry’s impressive record has been accomplished in part by the Bulldogs’ desire and expectation to win every year.

“It’s all in what your expectation is, it’s all in what your mindset is, and of course I think it goes from the top to the bottom,” said Gentry.

Watch the full interview with Coach Gentry by following the link below, part of Team FYN Sports 2019 Western North Carolina Coaching Series!


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