By PJ Tracy
Despite continuing their losing steak in 2017 (0-4, 0-1), the Murfreesboro Rattlers offense awoke to participate in a shootout before succumbing to Lafayette County 62-40 last Friday night.
Leading 14-7 after the first period, the Rattlers trailed 27-20 at half, and were outscored 35-20 in the second half.
The Rattlers racked up 474 yards of offense on the game, setting their new season high. Murfreesboro was led by senior quarterback J.C. Motley, who completed 6/13 passes for 145 yards, two TDs and one interception. Motley also added 105 yards on 19 rushes, including two TDs and a two-point conversion. On the evening, 84% of Motley’s rushes resulted in a first down for the Rattlers.
Michael Hughes added 113 yards rushing for the Rattlers, with a TD and a two-point conversion on 12 carries. Tyler Tomlinson rushed nine times for 57 yards, and Braden Cross rushed 4 times for 27 yards and a TD.
Jarrett Faulkner led Murfreesboro in receiving with three catches for 92 yards, including an 80 yard touchdown. Nathan Plyler and Jakob Allmon each added two catches for 29 and 20 yards respectively.
Cody Nolen collected 10 tackles on the game for Murfreesboro, including one for a loss. Bryle Fatheree had six tackles (two for loss) and Zane Flaherty had five tackles (one for loss).
While the Rattlers recorded no turnovers, the team fared well in kickoff returns, averaging more than 18 yards a return on eight attempts.
Motley took over punting duties for the game, averaging just shy of 30 yards on three punts.
The Rattler special teams defense sagged a bit, allowing two TD returns of kickoffs, dulling their momentum following scores.
A week after trying two PAT kicking attempts, the Rattlers only tried one Friday, five times instead going for the two-point conversion while converting two of those attempts.
Cougar QB Martavious Miller was all over the field, passing for a touchdown and rushing for three more, including an 88 yarder, while amassing 204 yards on the ground.
RB Jaylyn Anderson added 174 yards rushing and 3 TDs on 16 carries, while Michael Daniels had a 38 yard TD pass for the Cougars, as well as a kickoff return for TD.
Defensively for Lafayette County, Andreus Dedner had an interception return for 29 yards, along with a 50 yard TD kickoff return.
The Rattlers will next travel to Mount Ida, who are 4-0 on the season and have outscored opponents 153-32.
The Lions easily defeated the Mineral Springs Hornets 42-14 last Friday night.