East Hall entered its season-opening game with one thing on its mind: revenge.
Murray County, however, had another plan.
Thanks to an interception by Tyler Bowling in the first half that set up the game’s lone touchdown, Murray County once again defeated the Vikings on opening night.
“Once they got the lead, they’re as good as anyone I’ve seen at milking the clock,” East Hall coach Bryan Gray said following the 10-0 loss to Murray County on Saturday at East Hall Stadium.
The Indians (1-0) were able to take time off the clock because of the running of junior Dustin Anderson, who rushed for 63 yards in the second half and scored the game’s only touchdown on a 2-yard run with 35.7 seconds left in the first quarter.
“He’s so tough,” Murray County coach John Ziegler said of Anderson. “His physical toughness is very impressive. He took a beating out there and kept going.”
While Anderson was able to keep the Vikings (0-1) defense on the field, East Hall’s offense failed to sustain any drives in the second half as it was limited to nine yards.
“We have big play players,” Gray said. “But we didn’t make any plans.”
After implementing a new Wing-T offense this season, Gray might have left the field with concerns over its success, but he was actually pleased.
“Everything was there,” he said. “But we just have to make that extra step and extra block.”
Although the offense had its issues, East Hall’s defense was solid, holding Murray County to 34 yards of total offense and just one first down in the first half and just 122 yards for the game.
“They’re defense is very quick and aggressive,” Ziegler said. “That really gave us trouble all game.”
The Indians defense was just as impressive, holding East Hall to 53 yards in the first half and 62 for the game.
“Our defense was tremendous but we still have a lot of work to do,” Ziegler said. “But anytime we can get anything positive going, it’s good for this program.”
Gray admitted he was frustrated with losing to Murray County again, seeing that the Indians’ 17-13 win over the Vikings last year was the program’s only win of the season and first since 2005. But despite that frustration, he has faith that his team will be able to rebound from the loss.
“We’ll regroup and we’ll bounce back,” he said.
A 29-yard rush from Anderson set up the Indians other score, a 45-yard field goal by Rey Hernandez that put Murray County up 10-0.