CHATSWORTH — Coahulla Creek High School's defense pitched a second-half shutout Friday at Murray County — while the Colts offense pitched in three touchdowns — to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit and spoil the Indians' Homecoming, 28-22.
The Colts (4-2, 2-2 Region 6-3A) turned it over three times in the first half, but none in the second half.
"This is a simple game, not rocket science, brain surgery," said Danny Wilson, Coahulla Creek's head coach. "You block, you tackle, and you hold onto the ball, and we didn't do any of those in the first half, but we played with a lot more energy — and a lot smarter — in the second half."
"In the locker room, we got super pumped up, and we came out and showed them how it's done," said Tyler Locklear, who led the Colts with a pair of rushing touchdowns in Friday's second-half comeback, of the halftime atmosphere. "In the second half, our offensive line blocked better — we have three good running backs, but we can't do anything without the offensive line — our defense was excellent, and we played more as a team."
Tied at 22 after three quarters, Coahulla Creek quarterback Kace Kinnamon's 19-yard touchdown run with 4:30 remaining proved the game winner, as Murray County's fake punt attempt from their 25 with 3:13 left failed, and Coahulla Creek ran out the clock by making one first down.
The Colts had never won more than two football games in a season, but they've already doubled that total six games into the program's 10th season after beating Murray County (1-5, 0-4 Region 6-3A) Friday.
"It feels awesome, but we still have a lot to prove," Locklear said. "We have four games left, and hopefully we can have the first playoff run in school history."
"Give Murray County credit — they played well tonight — but I'm extremely proud of the way (our side) responded, and" claiming a fourth win this year "means a lot to our program and our school," Wilson said. "They fought through some tough times, and there's more pride in the school now."
The Indians beat the Colts last year in Varnell, 15-7, and they led on Homecoming in Friday's Region 6-3A tilt at halftime, 22-7. The opening quarter was scoreless, and Murray County was stopped on downs four times in Coahulla Creek territory before Justice Knotts hit Taylor Carrell for 80 yards, and Caleb Peden plunged in from a yard out on the next play for the game's first score with 4:06 until halftime.
It took the Colts barely a minute to respond, as a long run by Locklear set up Payton Gordon's 11-yard touchdown run. However, Carrell brought the home fans to their feet with a 53-yard touchdown run with 96 seconds remaining in the opening half, and he then intercepted Kinnamon. On the next play, Knotts found Carson Weaver for a 48-yard touchdown pass, and the two-point conversion gave the home side a 15-point advantage at the break.
The second half belonged to the Colts, as they scored on their first drive — a 2-yard touchdown run by Locklear — and Kinnamon's two-point-play pass to Justin Baker pulled them within seven. The Colts then drove 50 yards — capped by Locklear's 8-yard touchdown run — to tie the game with 4:53 left in the third quarter.
The Colts host Adairsville Friday, while Murray County travels to Sonoraville.