On September 9, Prep Rally wrote about the unfortunate case of Dallas (Texas) Jefferson High, which suffered the indignity of losing 73-0 to Keller (Texas) Timber Creek the night before. It turns out that the pain of that loss has been magnified three times for one Georgia school, which enters its fourth game of the season at 0-3, having been outscored by a whopping 213-0.
Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. Chatsworth (Ga.) Murray County High has lost each of its first three games by an average score of 71-0. After falling 70-0 to Dalton (Ga.) Southeast Whitfield County High, 73-0 to Dalton (Ga.) High and 70-0 to Ringgold (Ga.) Heritage High, the Indians enter Friday night's game against LaFayette (Ga.) High in an unenviable position. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia High School Football Daily, Murray County has already tied the Georgia state record for most 70-point losses in a season.
One more brutally rough game among the six remaining on their schedule, and Murray County will have the ignominious mark all to its own.
"I've been on teams that were 0-10 to 14-0 and state champions," first-year Murray County coach John Hammond told Georgia High School Football Daily. "You'd like to say you've seen it all. It's something you've got to go through, and you're becoming a better person, coach and team because of it."
The reasons for Murray County's struggles are widespread. The school is in just the third year of dealing with a much smaller student body, the result of a second high school opening within its district. That has taken a formerly robust and successful program -- the Indians had an impressive aggregate record of 29-8 between 1999 and 2001 -- down to the bare bones. Murray County's varsity program reportedly fields just 40 players this season, and some also spent time competing with the school's junior varsity team.
Want more proof that Hammond needs more players? With just two returning varsity seniors on the roster, the veteran coach is starting three freshmen, and has played as many as 12 in a game.
For the Indians, the hope is that the rough edges that come from current development lead to longterm success. Until then, Murray County will have to find a way to overcome drastic disadvantages in size and experience to avoid ending up in the Georgia record books for statistics that its players wouldn't want to be associated with.
For his part, Hammond says that the team doesn't deserve that, and that the increased experience should stand it well in the future.
"We're going through a split, and it's finally hit us," Hammond told Georgia High School Football Daily. "It's the split and a lack of game experience. We're going through a rough season, rougher than I thought, but we're also getting better each week, and every kid is getting playing time."