Quarterback Hinton McConkey put the first points on the board when he capped off a seventy-five yard drive with a run into the end zone, good for six.
Capitalizing on that momentum North Murray was able to come up with the ball after a Christian Heritage fumble. Junior Payton Swilling would catch a pass from McConkey to cut the Lions lead to two (12-14). At the start of the second half North Murray kicked off with a 51 yard run by sophomore Drake McCowan. McConkey would once again seal the drive with a six-yard dash into the end zone. The extra point by Aaron Mendez was good for one, and the Mountaineers gained the lead 19-14.
While the Lions would answer later on in the third, North Murray recovered yet another fumble in the forth. After faking a hand-off to McCowan, McConkey gave the ball to full back John Chastain who made good on a 23 yard touchdown run to regain the lead (25-21). However, near the end of the fourth Christian Heritage would answer and snag a pick-six that sealed the Mountaineers defeat. The final score was Lions 35, North Murray 25.
“We made some mistakes there at the end and had a busted coverage and they beat us. I think it was two pretty good football teams, but I think our kids battled the whole time and I’m very proud of that,” coach Gann said. In different segments of the game the Lions gave North Murray some trouble with the screen pass.
“When you jump the screen like we did in the fourth, they’ve got guys open long. Some times you’ve got to pick your poison. Do you give up six yards, or do you take a shot and give up sixty,” Gann said.
The offensive MVP for the game was junior quarterback Hinton McConkey. Gann said, “He made some mistakes, but he still led us up and down the field.” The two defensive MVP’s were junior linebacker Jonathan Cain and sophomore Juan Salaises. “Both of those guys made a lot of tackles,” added Gann.
Jonathan Cain said, “As the Mic. Linebacker, I have to be the voice of the defense.” He added, “I try and read the field a little bit, and try to find what is going wrong and attempt to correct it when I can.”
Cain said, “We’ve got a lot of kids who are coming into a new positions on defense. It takes time and there are kinks we have to work out.” Cain commented.
“I really believe we are going to do well this season. It’s just all going to hinge on the amount of effort we put into it during games and practices.” He concluded by saying, “We’ve still got a lot to learn defense wise. As a whole we’re young, but I still think we’ll be able to take it and ride.”
Gann pointed out that the youth of the team has a distinct benefit. “In three years a lot of these same kids will be back,” said Gann. He humorously referred to the underclassmen as “puppies still growing up.” Gann said that they play very well to be as young as they are.