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Red Devils shut out Rangers

  • Murphysboro's Aiden McNitt runs up the middle and is met by Benton defenders Jadon Stark (22) and Logan Williams (54). McNitt ran for 68 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown.

    Murphysboro's Aiden McNitt runs up the middle and is met by Benton defenders Jadon Stark (22) and Logan Williams (54). McNitt ran for 68 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown.
    RICK HAYES PHOTO

 
By Rick Hayes
updated: 10/13/2018 11:34 AM

Nine Murphysboro running backs scored seven touchdowns and grinded out nearly 340 rushing yards in a 55-0 shutout win over Benton here Friday night.

Murphysboro scored six times in the first half, including a 35-yard pick six to build up a 42-0 halftime lead, thereby getting a running clock in the second half.

Running back Jake Hoppenstedt, who led all rushers with 76 yards on nine carries, scored on runs of 6 and 19 yards in the opening quarter. Hoppenstedt scored with less a minute into the game on his short run -- set up by a kickoff return to the Benton 12.

When Benton's punt was blocked on its first possession, it took the Red Devils just four plays to score on a 1-yard run from Kevin Kirkwood.

Hoppenstedt scored again with 2:50 left in the quarter on his longer run after the Red Devils started at Benton's 40.

The longest run of the night came on the Red Devils' next possession on a 53-yard run from Zane Caraway. Teammate Max Hoem made it 35-0 with 9:43 to go in the half on a 31-yard run. And on Benton's next possession, Maurice Valliant intercepted a Benton pass and ran it back 35 yards for a touchdown.

Two more players would score for Murphysboro in the second half. Dezmond Clark scored on a 35-yard run with 6:47 left in the third quarter; and Aiden McNitt went 18 yards up the middle with 3:50 left in the game.

Hoem made all but one extra point kick for the Red Devils, now 6-2, and still in the hunt for the Ohio Division of the River to River Conference title. Murphy, West Frankfort and Herrin all have one loss going into the final week of action.

Benton dropped to 1-7.

The Rangers managed just 34 yards of offense on the ground. Quarterback Grant Gordon was 3-of-10 for 36 yards and interception. Freshman Keegan Glover started at QB in the second half and finished 2-of-9 for 8 yards.

Murphysboro rushed for 338 yards and completed one pass for 12 yards for 350 yards of total offense.

The Rangers will close out their season at home next Friday on Senior Night, hosting Anna-Jonesboro.