TALLMADGE: Junior quarterback David Murray put together an impressive passing exhibition Friday night in Nordonia’s up-tempo offense at Rossiaky Stadium.
Murray tormented host Tallmadge all night and tossed six touchdown passes to lead undefeated Nordonia to a 48-14 win in a Suburban League football game that took three hours to complete.
Murray, a 6-foot-2 and 180 pound first-year starter, completed 19-of-29 passes for 418 yards. He completed 9-of-11 passes in the first half for 235 yards and four touchdowns.
“Coach put in a great game plan this week and I am just blessed to be surrounded by athletes,” Murray said. “My job is to distribute the ball to them.”
Nordonia coach Jeff Fox was unaware of Murray’s passing numbers but knew his quarterback was in a groove.
“Seriously, wow, I didn’t know that,” Fox said after hearing the totals. “Wow. I never know numbers during the game. I am just thinking play-by-play and more the execution of plays. That is pretty cool. We say all the time don’t be results oriented and focus on the process. I think having a night like this is a culmination of a lot of growing throughout the year for David. He made great decisions and put the ball in athletes’ hands. He has the physical ability and he has done a great job learning. He put in a great week of film study, and really it paid off tonight to attack the defense where we could.”
Junior Alex Alders caught four of the touchdown passes and finished with six receptions and 133 yards. Junior Denzel Ward had five receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown, and junior Dylan Mabin contributed five catches for 61 yards.
“This is a great victory because they are the defending Suburban League champs for the past three years,” Alders said.
Nordonia and Highland are each atop the Suburban League at 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the league. Tallmadge is 4-3, 2-2.
Ward intercepted a pass on the Blue Devils’ third offensive play of the game with 10:26 to go in the first quarter to set up the Knights’ first score, a Murray 13-yard touchdown pass to Alders on the Knights’ first play from scrimmage five seconds later.
Nordonia upped its edge to 14-0 with 7:29 to go in the first quarter, courtesy of a perfectly executed double reverse play that culminated with a Murray 69-yard touchdown pass to senior Trey Lincoln. The Knights made it 21-0 on its first possession of the second quarter on a two-play drive. Murray tossed a 26-yard pass to Ward and then connected with Alders for a 42-yard touchdown pass at 7:34.
Murray’s final touchdown of the first half came with 4:11 to go in the second quarter when he hit Alders with a 52-yard strike to make the score 28-0.
Tallmadge cut its deficit to 28-7 with 21 seconds to go in the second quarter when junior quarterback Joseph Vassalotti tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to junior Joe Siesel. Nordonia senior Jordan Nobles rushed for a 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Tallmadge senior Bobby Clark rushed for a 5-yard touchdown. Tallmadge junior Latrele Moore contributed an 85-yard kickoff return and a 67-yard run.
Ward snagged a second interception in the second half. He was solid defensively along with senior Alex Woicehovich and junior Justice Alexander. Murray threw two touchdown passes in the second half, Alders for 15 yards and Ward for 43 yards.
Tallmadge played without several injured players Friday and had a handful that missed plays following collisions.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.