Murray quarterback and defensive back Austin Halls and wide receiver Cody Scroggie were both named to the Iowa Newspaper Association’s first-team all-state, with assistance from the Iowa Football Coaches Association.
For his versatility and competitive leadership on a team that went 31-6 in three years, including successive trips to the UNI-Dome finals and semifinals in 2011 and 2012, Murray senior Austin Halls was selected captain of the INA’s Eight-Man all-state team.
After being named the INA second-team all-state quarterback in 2011, Halls was selected to the first team as a defensive back this season. His seven interceptions lifted his three-year career total to 21, and with nine fumble recoveries he accounted for 30 career takeaways, six returned for touchdowns.
It was on offense where the shifty 6-2, 170-pound senior was the catalyst for a Mustang team that scored 852 points this season, second all-time only to 891 by state champion Fremont-Mills last year.
This season Halls was 120-of-217 passing for 1,899 yards and 35 touchdowns, with seven interceptions. He picked up an additional 1,113 yards rushing (8.6 average) and 27 TDs, for 62 total touchdowns.
For his career, Halls is tied for fourth all-time in Eight-player history with 21 defensive interceptions, sixth all-time with 83 passing TDs and ninth with 5,174 career passing yards. He has also collected 1,768 rushing yards and 42 TDs, and 213 career tackles in one of the most complete careers in Eight-player history.
Halls, unanimous choice as District 6 Offensive Player of the Year, is the school’s all-time leader in every passing category with more than 5,000 career yards and 83 TDs.
“Austin is the fiercest competitor I have ever coached,” coach Keith Shields said. “He led us to the championship game in 2011 and to the semifinals in 2012. He’s an all-state basketball player as well, has participated in state track and is an honor roll student. Besides his performance, Austin is a great leader on the field in terms of getting people in the right positions and anticipating what the opponent is trying to do. He’s a playmaker.”
Scroggie was a repeat selection on the INA Eight-Man first team as a wide receiver.
Despite missing three games with an ankle injury, and slowed by the injury during the playoffs, the 5-11, 155-pound senior had 48 receptions for 976 yards (20.8 average) with 17 touchdowns. He returned two interceptions for 62 yards and a touchdown, had 70 total tackles and a rushing touchdown while picking up 109 yards on six carries.
For his career, Scroggie had 122 receptions (seventh all-time in Eight-Man) for 2,446 yards (third all-time) and 40 touchdowns (sixth all-time). He scored 304 career points. He also averaged 11.3 yards on 15 rushes for 170 yards. Defensively, he had 256 total tackles including 11 for losses, along with 11 interceptions including one returned for a TD.
In his final game, the semifinal 78-76 loss to Gilbertville Don Bosco, Scroggie made 11 catches for 236 yards and five touchdowns.
“Cody is the best receiver I have coached,” Shields said. “He is an excellent all-around player who has helped lead us to back to back UNI-Dome appearances and is the school’s all-time receiving leader.”
Leading tackler Eddie Otto, explosive running back Andrew Rider and running back Seth Nerness all received nominations and consideration for all-state recognition by the committee. Murray, a balanced team, had two 1,000-yard rushers (Halls and Nerness) in addition to Rider, who ended with 851 yards before breaking his arm early in the Oct. 19 game against Lamoni.