MURRAY — After the teams waited out a 90-minute lightning delay before opening kickoff, second-ranked Murray raced to a 42-0 lead in the first quarter en route to a 76-22 victory over East Union Friday night.
The same storm pattern ended up cancelling the Lenox at Melcher-Dallas game, which was called after one play.
The loss bounces East Union’s playoff hopes in Eight-Man District 6, as the Eagles fall to 2-4 in district play and 3-6 overall. East Union closes the season by hosting Grandview Park Baptist (2-4, 3-5), a 58-31 loser to Colo-Nesco Friday.
Murray improves to 6-0 atop the district and 8-0 overall. The Mustangs host Lamoni in the regular-season finale.
Quarterback Austin Halls passed for 172 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another for the Mustangs Friday. Cody Scroggie had two receiving touchdowns before injuring an ankle late in the first half. Seth Nerness caught two touchdown passes and ran for another.
Mustang running back Andrew Rider had another spectacular night of big plays. He ran for three TDs, returned a kickoff for a touchdown and had a punt-return TD called back on a penalty. He totaled 141 rushing yards on just nine carries. Corey McCracken added a rushing touchdown for Murray.
With several Murray regular still in the game on defense, East Union had a better second half under the running clock, scoring twice on touchdown passes by Trevor Barnett and a short-yardage run by the Eagle quarterback. Sean Schmitz and Caleb Case made TD grabs for the Eagles. East Union played to 14-14 draw in the final two periods.
“Our guys came out in the second half and played hard,” said EU coach Steve Kinyon. “We knew coming over they had that kind of speed. All you can do is try to corral it.”
The teams had just completed pregame warm-ups when the facility was cleared because of lightning. Finally, the teams came back out to prepare for kickoff at 8:30 p.m.
“We just told them to sit and relax and go on their own for a little while,” Murray coach Keith Shields said. “They came and told us it would be 20 more minutes, and then a 20-minute warm-up after that. We didn’t go through our full warm-up. We just made sure they were loose. We came out and played pretty well.”
The Mustangs did it without two-way starter George Barber, injured a week earlier at Colo. RayDean Burdess replaced him at guard and Dylan Craig drew the start in the defensive line.
East Union completed 5 of 22 passes and rushed for only 24 net yards. Nerness had six tackles for losses, including three quarterback sacks. Burdess, Eddie Otto and Sam Rockhold each had two tackles for losses. After Scroggie’s injury, Matthew Barnes had a strong half in the secondary with five solo tackles.
The 12th straight home victory clinched at least a share of the district title, Murray’s first since 2000. Scroggie got his 100th career reception and went over 2,000 yards receiving for his career. Rider went over the 2,000-yard career rushing mark.
Murray 76, East Union 22
E. Union 0 8 8 6 - 22
Murray 42 20 14 0 - 76
M — Cody Scroggie 43 pass from Austin Halls (run failed), 9:34
M — Corey McCracken 22 run (Halls run), 8:57
M — Scroggie 32 pass from Halls (Rider pass from Halls), 6:21
M — Andrew Rider 39 run (run failed), 4:01
M — Seth Nerness 38 pass from Halls (run failed), 2:05
M — Rider 35 run (Sam Rockhold pass from Halls), :03.
M — Nerness 26 run (Rockhold pass from Halls), 8:55
M — Halls 1 run (pass failed), 6:45
EU — Caleb Case 13 pass from Trevor Barnett (Barnett run), 2:03
M — Nerness 42 pass from Halls (pass failed), 0:00
M — Rider 27 run (Nerness run), 8:20
EU — Case 7 pass from Barnett (Barnett run), 4:41
M — Rider 62 kickoff return (pass failed), 4:30
EU — Barnett 2 run (run failed), 0:34
Rushing: EU - Trevor Barnett 20-37, Bryson Kinyon 11-(-8), Johnathan Weis 7-(-5). M - Andrew Rider 9-141, Seth Nerness 8-57, Corey McCracken 1-22, Matthew Barnes 4-14, Austin Halls 4-4, Sam Rockhold 2-4, Zane Hatfield 2-(-5).
Passing: EU - Trevor Barnett 5-22-2 for 107 yards. M - Austin Halls 9-12-0 for 172 yards, Zane Hatfield 0-1.
Receiving: EU - Caleb Case 3-47, Sean Schmitz 2-60. M - Cody Scroggie 2-75, Seth Nerness 2-70, Sam Rockhold 3-17.
Tackles (solo-assists): EU - Case 5-7, Dylan Cunningham 4-3, Mike Ward 2-2, Bryson Kinyon 2-2, Garrett Oliver 0-4. M - Nerness 7-0, Rider 7-2, RayDean Burdess 2-4, Eddie Otto 3-4, Barnes 5-0, Devin Shields 4-1, Rockhold 3-1.
Sacks: M - Nerness 3.
Interceptions: M - Rider 1, Scroggie 1.