The Wildcats beat their Cascade Conference rivals 38-0.
The Archbishop Murphy football team looked mortal.
At least for a half.
The top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press 2A poll, which scored 132 points in its first two games, tallied just 10 points in the first half against Cascade Conference rival King’s. But the Wildcats got things rolling in the second half on the way to a 38-0 victory over the Knights on Friday night in a contest featuring the two league favorites at Woolsey Stadium.
“I think our kids came out a little bit flat and, after they have the games that they had for the first two games, I don’t think that they took King’s for real,” said Jerry Jensen, the Archbishop Murphy coach. “It was great to have them play a full four quarters here and battle back in that second half and play a little bit better.”
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Archbishop Murphy (3-0 overall, 1-0 league) is averaging 57 points per game this year and hasn’t allowed a point on defense. Wildcats senior Anfernee Gurley, who had nine carries for 83 yards and two receptions for 103 yards with a touchdown in each category, said despite its big offensive numbers, Archbishop Murphy prides itself on the other side of the ball.
“Our resilience on defense is what we’re proudest of,” Gurley said. “Our front seven is amazing. We (defensive backs) don’t have to do much tackling.”
King’s (1-2, 0-1) and Archbishop Murphy have combined to win seven of the last eight Cascade Conference titles. Both teams made it to the Tacoma Dome last season and have high hopes again this year. Archbishop Murphy is tied with Tumwater for the top spot in the latest Associated Press 2A poll, while King’s is No. 6 in 1A.
“When we’re clicking we’re pretty good,” Jensen said. “… I think we could be really good, but there’s some darn good football in the 2A conference with all the teams (in the Northwest Conference) and you throw Tumwater in there and Prosser on the other side. We need to clean our house if we think that we’re going to be competing in the Tacoma Dome later on this year.”
Archbishop Murphy senior kicker Ryan Henderson gave his team the first lead of the game with a 35-yard field goal late in the first quarter. Kyler Gordon added to the Wildcats’ lead with a 3-yard score late in the second quarter. Gordon broke the game open with a 95-yard touchdown reception that capped a three-play, 99-yard drive late in the third quarter.
Archbishop Murphy added scores on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ben Hines and a screen pass to Gurley that he took 74 yards for a touchdown.