RINGGOLD, Ga. — North Murray sophomore Seth Griffin took a step forward in a major way.
The dual-threat quarterback, a first-year starter, showed poise while engineering the highest-scoring outing in program history in Friday night's 62-49 win against Ringgold.
It was the GHSA Region 6-AAA opener for both North Murray (1-1 overall) and the Tigers (1-2), who have lost four straight in the series with the Mountaineers.
With his offensive line creating a great push up front, Griffin ran for four touchdowns, totaled 283 yards (190 passing, 283) and threw two touchdown passes.
"I told somebody early in the game that this is going to be a shootout," said North Murray coach Preston Poag, whose team produced 565 yards of offense compared to Ringgold's 485. "We didn't punt one time. We did turn it over before the half and gave them a touchdown, but we were absolutely smoking on offense in the second half."
After trailing 27-20 at the break, the Mountaineers totaled 312 yards in the second half as Noah Lunsford and D'Ante Tidwell ran hard while Cade Petty and Michael McDade made big catches downfield.
Still, the Tigers hung around as quarterback Mason Parker played brilliantly with a four-touchdown performance, and Kori Dumas raced to an 80-yard touchdown at the end of the third quarter to tie the game at 41.
After a 17-yard touchdown catch by Tidwell, North Murray's defense came up with a much-needed stop that changed the game.
After Ringgold was forced to punt, Griffin threw to the back left corner of the end zone, where Petty made his second outstanding leaping grab of the night to give the Mountaineers their first two-score lead of the game, 55-41.
Confidence grew for a group that is full of first-year starters and was shut down in last week's opener, a 20-7 loss to Northwest Whitfield.
"Ever since last year's class graduated, everybody has been like, 'Oh they lost, (Georgia Bulldogs signee Ladd) McConkey and a lot of great players," said Lunsford, who ran for 167 yards and two scores on 11 carries. "We didn't let that faze us at all. This is a great first region win for us, and we truly believe it puts us on the road to winning another region championship."
Tidwell totaled 146 yards on 17 touches, scoring twice.
Ringgold's Dumas surpassed 200 total yards after rushing for 147 and five scores in last week's win over Ridgeland.
The Tigers' Peyton Williams had a 34-yard touchdown catch and a 35-yard touchdown run to help his team take the lead into halftime.