CHATSWORTH — The late-season momentum of 2007 carried over for East Hall, almost.
Murray edged out the Vikings 17-13 inside the final minute of the game on quarterback Austin Williams 3-yard touchdown run to cap a 15-play, 80-yard drive — the Indians longest of the game.
"What a great night for Murray County and what a great night for our players," Indians coach Josh Lowe said after the game. "They played their hearts out. We fell behind early, but we didn’t quit, we didn’t lie down. This is a team effort. We’re working real hard to restore the winning tradition and this is just one step in the process."
The Indians were able to work around two lost fumbles (seven total) and 45 yards worth of penalties to get the victory.
In the first half, East Hall won the opening coin toss and deferred to the Indians, who went three-and-out on three straight running plays.
The Vikings had some success on their opening drive, moving the ball 32 yards before turning the ball over on downs at Murray’s 28 yardline.
The Indians failed to take advantage of the defensive stop, with quarterback Austin Williams mishandling and fumbling a snap, which was scooped up by Vikings standout Kiante Young, who ran the ball 40 yards to the endzone to put the Vikings ahead 7-0 after the PAT with four minutes left in the first.
The Indians appeared to gain some momentum on the ensuing kickoff, with Jacob Bajer’s return of 40 yards to the Vikings 40 yardline. But a holding penalty brought the Indians back to Murray’s 45. The Drive would stall at the Viking’s 37 with Austin Williams fumbling and recovering the snap on fourth down, forcing a turnover on downs.
On the following drive, Vikings quarterback Harrison Dale threw the first of two first-half interceptions, with Bajer making the play at the Murray 44.
"I don’t know who, but somebody tipped it," Bajer said. "I just was in the right spot and made the interception."
However, a 15-yard face mask penalty on the Indians moved the chains back to the 29 and Murray again turned the ball over on downs – this time on the Vikings 41.
The Vikings and the Indians then traded punts and East Hall had the chance to run out the clock and take the lead into halftime, as well as get the ball to start the third quarter, but Dale threw another interception, this one to James Hefner, who ran to the Vikings 22.
The Indians would drive to inside the five yard line and score on Austin Williams touchdown pass to Luke Mealer with less than four seconds in the half.
East Hall reclaimed the lead midway through the third quarter on Dale’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Ivester, but the extra point attempt was blocked to bring the score to 13-7.
On Murray’s ensuing drive, they answered with a 36-yard field goal by Michel Lopez draw closer at 13-10.
That score would hold until Williams touchdown run.