A pair of Massac's SIRR foes, Murphy and Nashville, have both made it to the IHSA State Football finals. Murphy will take on Richmond-Burton this Friday at DeKalb's Huskie Stadium in the 4A classification, and Nashville will tangle with Sterling- [Newman Central Catholic] in the 2A class, also in Huskie Stadium.
Nashville got huge games from their linemen, both offensive and defensive, and their high octane offense did the rest. Murphy's win was a little more dramatic.Effingham seemed to have things under control with time running out, great field position, an accurate kicker and a tie score.
However, the wet field played a part as the Flaming Hearts fumbled away a snap in the last few seconds. Murphy's Zane Caraway recovered the loose ball and the 'Devils ran the clock down for overtime. Murphy deferred possession giving Effingham the ball first in O/T.
With the ball on the ten [O/T protocol] the 'Hearts basically were assured of a field goal and Murphy's pass defense made sure that it was no more than that as they blanketed the 'Hearts dangerous receivers.
After the subsequent field goal, Murphy got its chance from 10 yards out and Jake Hoppenstedt hauled in a Jamarr McZeke pass that bounced off a 'Hearts defender and was cradled by Hoppenstedt.
The trip to Dekalb is the first for Murphy. With their win, Nashville assures itself of their best finish since 1998 under Bruce Reeder when they finished second in state.
The other team left of any local note, Mascoutah, didn't fare as well as their SIRR counterparts. The Indians, after upsetting Joliet Catholic last week were steamrolled by juggernaut Rochester 56-34.