Bryson City – Friday’s Swain Murphy showdown will go down as another storied chapter in their long and storied history. Playing before a packed house at Swain County Memorial, the two teams played what will long be remembered as a classic.
In many ways it was throwback to classic 1980-90 Swain Murphy games. A high intensity defensive struggle that was decided by the narrowest of margins. In this case, a Murphy touchdown with 1:10 remaining in the game and how the game most likely will be remembered, by a two point conversion.
A 7-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Runsfelt to Justice Dorsey with 1:10 remaining in the game, pulled the Bulldogs with within 1 point, at 14-13. Then following an offsides penalty on the Maroon Devils the Dogs went for two and Devonte Murray ran it in for the lead, and what turned out to be the deciding points as it gave Murphy a 15-14 lead.
The Maroon Devils mounted a drive in the final minute but honestly, just ran out of time. Swain drove to the Murphy 26, right on the fringe of field goal range, only to run out of time before they could get any closer.
Both defenses prevailed in the first half. Murphy would break through in the closing seconds of the half to score the first points of the game on a 6 yard Dorsey run. The extra point gave Murphy a 7-0 lead going into halftime.
In the second half the Maroon Devil offense found some running room. On their second possession of the second half the Devils marched 57 yards on 13 plays, to score their first points of the night. Damian Lossiah scored from 3 yards out and Gavin Lanning kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7.
As the third quarter turned to the fourth, both teams exchanged possessions. But the Maroon Devil defense came up big, as senior Connor Hyatt stepped in front of a Bulldog pass and returned the interception to the Murphy 28-yard line, giving the Devils excellent field position.
The Maroon Devils used the short field to their advantage, taking the lead on a Damian Lossiah 5-yard run. Gavin Lanning made the extra point to give Swain a 14-7 lead with 5:16 remaining in the game.
Bryce Sain finished with 66 yard on 16 carries to lead all rushers on the night. Damian Lossiah finished with 57 yards on 17 carries and 2 touchdowns.
Through the air Lossiah was 4 for 11, with 2 completions each to Connor Hyatt and Donnavin Groenewold, for 68 yards.
The Maroon Devil defense was paced by Cody Long and Jake Langston who had 10 tackles each, while Charlie Lambert and Thomas Allen had 9 each. Connor Hyatt had 2 interceptions, while Gaige Jones recovered a fumble.
Swain will travel to Robbinsville this Friday, with kickoff at 7:30.