Philly takes key league win
By By Rocky Higginbotham/special to The Star
October 18, 2003
PHILADELPHIA Desmond Murray wasn't the only man on the field playing offense here at Philadelphia High School's Harpole Stadium Friday night.
But the final statistics sure made it seem that way.
On a night where defenses dominated, Murray broke a 95-yard touchdown run with 2:24 left in the contest lifting the host Tornadoes to a 10-0 victory over Clarkdale in a Region 5-2A contest.
PHS coach Mike Brown reiterated once again that his team seems to bring out the best in its opponent.
Clarkdale fell to 2-6 and 2-1.
Clarkdale certainly did, as the Bulldogs battled tooth-and-nail with PHS and seemed to have the Tornadoes backed into a corner in the closing minutes. But on a third-and-7 play, Murray danced through the middle, busted the run to the outside and outraced everyone for a 95-yard touchdown. Porter Jordan's PAT kick made it a 10-0 game.
Clarkdale managed 75 yards on the night 73 of them in the second half as Philadelphia produced six sacks and kept constant pressure in the Bulldogs' backfield.
The only points of the entire first half came on a 22-yard field goal by Jordan with 8:47 left in the second quarter.
Clarkdale missed a couple of chances to get even, or perhaps go ahead, as the Dogs botched a 35-yard field goal attempt on the next-to-last play of the first half after not capitalizing on an interception by Quinton Walker.
Neither team really threatened in the second half until Clarkdale successfully executed a fake punt to get a first down at the PHS 37; but that drive stalled.
After a defensive stand, the Dogs were set up at the Philly 28 after a 16-yard punt. But two plays later, Cameron Gates picked off a Bulldog pass at the 2, and the Tornadoes had the ball back with 3:26 left.
Three plays later, Murray broke his 95-yarder that was essentially the nail in the coffin.
Philly's Jordan made a touchdown-saving tackle of Chris Sirven in the open field on the ensuing kickoff, as Sirven returned the kick all the way to the Tornadoes' 47. But two sacks and two incompletions later, the Bulldogs turned it over on their own 40.
Philadelphia finished with 239 yards of total offense, but Murray had 232 of it on 23 carries.
Clarkdale's top offensive numbers came from Chris Skinner, who ran for 29 yards on seven carries.
The Bulldogs host Kemper County next week, while Philadelphia goes to Williams-Sullivan. Both are region contests.