Murray County 30, Armuchee 12
The Murray County High School football team can officially put its winless 2018 season behind it after taking down Armuchee in its first game of the season on Friday night at home, 30-12.
"Things are very good and very happy right now," Murray County coach Chad Brewer said. "I'm happy for the kids that they get to feel this way. It was fun, and it's great to see all the hard work for the kids pay off.
"The looks on their faces is all worth it."
The last time Murray County won a game was on Oct. 13, 2017, as it took down Coahulla Creek, 49-19. After last season ended, the Indians (1-0) took it upon themselves to make a change within the program.
"They really bought into all of it, and that's what I'm most happy about," Brewer said. "It was good to have it all come together after they've put in so much time."
Friday's game was scoreless after one quarter. Quarterback Kaleb Jones was tripped up near the end zone but made a diving leap to score on a 59-yard run with 11:36 remaining in the second quarter to give Murray County its initial lead. The point after attempt was no good. Running back Jon Dooley added to the scoring about four minutes later when he broke free on 17-yard run. Elber Romero's kick was good this time for the 13-0 lead.
With time ticking down just before halftime, the Indians' crowd roared as running back Davis Redwine flew 93 yards to extend Murray County's lead, 20-0.
In the second half, Romero scored on a 29-yard field goal and Jones had another long touchdown run. Cade Petty and Carson Voiles each had fumble recoveries, while Shawn Corral and Jason Rice each finished with an interception.
Murray County hosts Southeast Whitfield at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Dalton 62, Ringgold 10
Dalton High School senior running back Jahmyr Gibbs had a historic night, rushing for 438 yards and eight touchdowns to lead Dalton over Ringgold in its first game of the season on the road on Friday night, 62-10.
Gibbs had all 52 yards on the Catamounts' (1-0) first drive of the game, finishing with a 5-yard score. Gibbs also finished the night with touchdown runs of 58, 55, 54, 5, 1, 29 and 1 yards. He had accumulated 270 yards rushing and four touchdowns by halftime.
"It must have been a career-high night for him," Dalton coach Matt Land said. "I certainly don't remember anything more significant than tonight. He's pretty special there's no doubt about that."
Watching Gibbs score time after time made Land happy for many reasons, he said.
"What makes him special is part God-given talent and the other part extreme hard work," he said. "It was not luck and it's not a coincidence. But the best part is that he recognized it's a complete group effort, not just one of an individual. He doesn't just see what he did in the game, he sees what everyone else is doing to make it happen."
Another thing that Land said made him excited was to see all the ways Gibbs scored, noting his speed, power and shiftiness.
Dalton quarterback Landon Allen found Hunter Noland for a 5-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter for the final Dalton score.
Land said he was very please with the entire team effort on Friday.
"We challenged all parts of our team tonight," he said. "There are things we need to work on and based on what we've seen we are far more apt to beat ourselves than to beat other teams. In the offseason we did a lot of work to work on that and tonight we worked on making the goals happen."
Dalton hosts Northwest Whitfield at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Christian Heritage 27, Riverside Military Academy 6
Christian Heritage School began its season with a win on Friday night, taking down Riverside Military Academy on the road, 27-6.
Sophomore Gage Leonard ran for three touchdowns, while senior kicker Joe Dixon hit field goals of 45 and 43 yards for the Lions (1-0).
"We ran the ball very well with Ethan (Smith) and Gage," Christian Heritage coach Jay Poag said. "It was a good way to start -- a good way to kick off the season.
"The defense was wonderful. We are strong and like the way our kids look. I thought we were the more physical team, and the kids and had a lot fun out there."
Poag said he was also impressed with sophomore quarterback Christian Thomas who made his first start for the Lions.
"He played well and handled himself really well," Poag said. "He saved us on some runs."
Christian Heritage hosts Gordon Central at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
Woodland 35, Southeast Whitfield 7
Southeast Whitfield fell in its first game of the season on the road to Woodland on Friday night, 35-7.
Southeast's score came early in the second quarter on 10-yard touchdown pass from Adam Sowder to Bryson Lofton.
"We are very young still, but I felt like the kids grew up and played well as the game went on," Southeast coach Sean Gray said.
The Raiders only allowed one scored in the final two quarters after they trailed at halftime, 29-7.
"The defense played really well in the second half," Gray said. "It was a learning experience and we definitely left there with some positives."
Gray said playing a bigger school in the Woodland (Class 5A, while Southeast is Class 4A) is always tough.
"We have a lot of kids playing both ways, so they were getting a little tired," he said. "We won't see many defensive lines like we did tonight, and their main running back had a great game, too."
Southeast travels to Murray County for a game at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.