The North Murray Mountaineers wrapped up the Region 6-AAA North subregion title on Friday night as they shut down LFO's potent rushing attack and picked up a 44-13 victory in Chatsworth.
The win gives North Murray (6-3 overall, 4-0 subregion) the outright subregion championship. They will host Sonoraville next week in a play-in game to get to the state playoffs. Meanwhile, LFO (5-4, 3-1) will host Adairsville next week for a state berth.
LFO came into Friday's game averaging over 234 yards rushing a game, second in the entire region. However, North Murray stymied the Warriors in the first half to 24 yards rushing, 12 yards passing and two first downs - one via penalty - in building a 23-0 lead.
By the time LFO finally got its offense moving in the fourth quarter, it was too little, too late.
"They played some really good defense the first half and kind of held us in check," Warriors head coach Bo Campbell said. "At the same time I feel like we could've done some things a little bit better. But, that's how it goes."
North Murray held a 9-0 lead in the second quarter when the defense began adding points to the scoreboard as well. LFO fumbled a punt deep in their own territory, which was knocked around and chased by players on both sides before Jaden Baggett finally fell on it for a Mountaineer touchdown.
North Murray collected six turnovers on the night. Logan Viars had two interceptions and Riley McCamy had one. The Mountaineers also recovered three fumbles including a second for a touchdown as Nick Hagin ran one back 40 yards to close out the night's scoring.
Preston Poag Jr. was responsible for three North Murray offensive touchdowns. His 53-yard run in the first quarter was the first touchdown of the night. He also connected with Connor Rice for two scores, a 15-yarder right before halftime and a 22-yarder in the fourth quarter.
He finished 15-of-30 for 228 yards in his first game back after missing last week with an injury. Rice caught five passes for 105 yards.
"We made a lot of mistakes defensively," Campbell added. "North Murray is a good team and we knew that coming into it. We made too many mistakes on defense and offense didn't move the ball quite the way we wanted it to.
"We had some tough breaks. Any time you have some tough breaks in a game you can go down pretty fast. I was proud of our kids, we came out in the second half and didn't quit. The defense played a lot better the second half, but offensively we still couldn't get it moving as well as we wanted it to."
LFO scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Vaughn had TD runs of 8 and 7 yards, but finished with just 26 rushing yards on 13 carries. He was 8-of-20 through the air for 112 yards.
Nathan Williams had 79 yards on 14 carries, including a 56-yard scamper. That put the junior over the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,028) with at least one game remaining.