Bulls stay with ground game to outlast plucky N. Carroll Ninth-ranked Hereford takes 27-20 win on late TD

September 13, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Most of the excitement was crammed into the final 11 minutes, and it wasn't until a desperation fourth-down pass by North Carroll fell incomplete that visiting Hereford could claim a 27-20 victory last night.

No. 9-ranked Hereford (2-0), which had scored 56 points in its opener last week, saw a 20-6 lead sliced to 20-12 with four minutes left in the third quarter. That was the calm part.

The last 11 minutes of the game were wild, as North Carroll (1-1) tied the game at 20, only to have the Bulls go 73 yards in 11 plays for the winning points, mostly on the running of Jason Murphy, Jason Wingeart and Rob Collins.

The tying score saw a bad pitch turn out right for North Carroll, as Steve Suter picked up the loose ball, scooted around the end and raced 25 untouched yards. A pass to Adam Crowl tied it.

Collins then scored the winning touchdown with little more than two minutes left. He made a great second effort just past the line of scrimmage, broke loose, and stumbled into the end zone.

North Carroll spent the last two minutes getting 15 extra yards to midfield from Suter after he was apparently stopped. Collins PTC then intercepted an Eric Etzel pass, returned it to the Panthers' ,, 30, fumbled, and Suter recovered. A personal foul set the Panthers back to the 15, and they made it to midfield at the final whistle.

Murphy, 5-foot-9 and 230 pounds, shredded the North Carroll defense for 141 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bulls. It was, however, the work of Wingeart and Collins, behind an offensive line that was still strong in the fourth quarter, that set up the winning touchdown.

"They're disciplined and well-coached. I knew coming in it would be tough," Hereford coach Steve Turnbaugh said. "This place must be haunted, because the ball went right into their hands on those two plays.

"We had our opportunities, but penalties hurt. Our offensive line did a great job. We lost six seniors from last year and four were offensive linemen. They're young, but they matured in a big ballgame."

North Carroll coach Bill Rumbaugh said, "Suter made a couple of great plays, but we can't stand around and wait for one guy. Our offense was just not in sync.

"As for Murphy, he wouldn't go down. We couldn't tackle him. Our lines didn't get off the ball."

Hereford used two sustained drives to score in each of the first two quarters, then came up short on an attempted 49-yard field goal as halftime expired. The Bulls had moved to the North Carroll 25 in the closing minute, after the home team had closed the gap to 12-6.

The Bulls used a punishing ground game to earn their first two scores. They went 75 yards in eight plays, with Murphy going the last four, and after stopping a Panthers drive at the Hereford 40, marched 61 yards in 10 plays. Murphy went off tackle for the last 12.

Pub Date: 9/13/97

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