FAIRHOPE, Ala. – St. Michael Catholic’s offense staked a solid lead in the first half with a productive run/pass mix and defensive help to keep the Aggies’ powerhouse attack …
FAIRHOPE, Ala. – St. Michael Catholic’s offense staked a solid lead in the first half with a productive run/pass mix and defensive help to keep the Aggies’ powerhouse offensive attack on the sideline. The Cardinals scored on their first possession, a 4-yard run by Ezra Sexton to cap a 61-yard drive.
Sexton also kicked a a 28-yard field goal for a 10-0 SMCHS lead with two minutes left in the first quarter.
Jackson got on the board in the first minute of the second quarter after Jamarion Sampson caught Walter Taylor’s pass for an 80-yard TD. The Cards answered with another deep strike from Murphy to Calvin Caron for a 67-yard score and a 17- 7 lead.
Micah Farrell caught a 31-yard TD pass with 3:31 left in the half to make it 24-7. But the Aggies battled back to cut that lead to 10 before the break and added a touchdown and a field goal in the second half. But the SMC defense stopped the Aggies’ final drive at midfield as time ran out.
Murphy gave credit to his teammates’ blocking up front and his coeahes for getting ready for a top-10 opponent.
“Everybody gave a hundred-percent effort,” he said. “The line blocked great. The receivers ran their routes and I was able to just put the ball in their hands and let them do all the work. My O-line did all the work and gave me time. I only got sacked once and this against a really good team.”
Head coach Phil Rivers was obviously excited and celebrated with family before going into the locker room to share the big win with his players and coaches.
“Wow, feels great of course. Super proud of these guys and everyone who helped make this happen – the kids, the coaches, the student body and administration and of course the fans.”
He added that No. 8 Jackson would be a test and indicator of where the Cardinals stand.
“They are explosive and we knew tough to contain,” he said. “We knew they were good and would not quit. But we felt like, if we could hold them to a score in the twenties, we could win and just so proud of our defense tonight. They were great.”
He also said that it’s still early in the season and they have many other good Region 1 teams to test.
“This was great, but we have to remember this is week two and we have a long, tough road ahead. This is a tough region.”
St. Michael Catholic (3-0) travels to Ladd Stadium Sept. 9 to take on the Williamson Lions.