2020 High School Football Preview: Is this the Murray County group that makes the next step?

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Murray County High School's Kaleb Jones eludes pressure and looks to throw in a game last season. Jones is one of 23 seniors on the 2020 Murray County football team looking to guide the Indians back into the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

CHATSWORTH — Most current Murray County High School football players were just toddlers the last time their school made the state playoffs.

The Indians, despite a few near misses in recent years, haven’t reached the postseason since 2005. In head coach Chad Brewer’s eighth season as the head man at Murray County, he believes this group may have the talent and depth needed to get Murray County over that hump.

Murray County finished 4-6 in 2019, but dropped a couple of one-score games that, had they swung the other way, could have boosted the Indians into the playoff picture.

“We need to take that next step and win those important games to get us into the playoffs,” Brewer said. “Those are the games we have to start winning if we want to take that next step into the playoffs.”

Murray County returns 14 starters from that team and boasts 23 seniors. Those numbers have Brewer believing.

“If we can get some other guys ready to go with our guys coming back, I think we’ll be able to take that next step, win those tough games and get this team into the playoffs,” Brewer said.

Many of those seniors stuck around at skill positions on the offense, where eight starters returned overall.

Senior Kaleb Jones is set to play quarterback for the Indians.

“You never have a great season without great quarterback play,” Brewer said. “It kind of goes hand-in-hand. He’s definitely a dual-threat. We do some speed option with him, because he’s so good with running the ball. I think he’s going to have a great season.”

When Jones does air it out, he’ll have a couple of big targets in Brandon Nuckolls and Lincoln Puryear, two 6'-4" seniors that will line up at both tight end and wide receiver.

Joining Jones in the backfield are two more seniors in running backs Davis Redwine and Carson Voiles. Voiles, a do-it-all player for the Indians, also will play linebacker and be the long snapper on special teams.

Voiles is one of a decreasing number of players forced into action on multiple sides of the ball for Murray County, another number that has Brewer optimistic about the future of the program.

Murray County has 82 players on their preseason roster, a number that usually hovers in the 50s and 60s.

“We don’t like to play those guys on both sides when we’ve got the numbers to, but we haven’t had the luxury to do that a lot around here, so I’m excited about that,” Brewer said. “Hopefully we can keep those numbers up the next few years and continue to build this program.”

Murray County

Mascot: Indians

Colors: Green and white

Classification: Region 6-3A

Head coach: Chad Brewer

Last year’s record: 4-6

Key losses

OL/DL Marcus Cain

OL/DL Seth Gallman

LB Gauge Stanley

S Tyler Hayes

Key players

QB Kaleb Jones

RB/LB Carson Voiles

TE Lincoln Puryear

TE/S Brandon Nuckolls

OL Gabriel Mena

Circled on the schedule

@ Adairsville, Sept. 25

• Murray County’s first Region 6-3A game of the season, when the Indians travel to Adairsville, can set the tone on what kind of season Murray County could have.

@ Coahulla Creek, Oct. 16

The Indians travel to play Coahulla Creek on Oct. 16 after hosting two straight region games.

@ North Murray, Nov. 6

The two Murray County schools collide when the Indians travel across Chatsworth to play North Murray, which is coming off an 11-2 season.

Region 6-3A

Adairsville

Coahulla Creek

LaFayette

Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe

Murray County

North Murray

Ringgold

Rockmart

Sonoraville

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