North Murray running back Dante Tidwell ran for 210 yards and two touchdowns while quarterback Preston Poag Jr. ran for two more as the Mountaineers spoiled the first home game for new Model head coach Rick Ross.
The troubles for Blue Devils began earlier this week when starting quarterback Jabari Burge was ruled out for the game due to concussion protocol.
Running back Coco Dublin scored on a 75-yard run with 2:21 left in the opening quarter and worked in tandem with quarterback Sam Silver behind center, moving in to take direct snaps at times. But Dublin hurt his right arm in the second quarter and did not play after halftime.
Silver also came out after taking a hit late in the third quarter and did not return.
“I feel like our kids played hard, but our problem is we’ve got six kids out right now. And when you have a roster of our size with six starters out playing against a pretty good team, and then you lose three more during the game, you’re going to have some concerns,” Ross said.
“And everybody can make excuses all they want, but that gets down to a couple of things. We’ve got to get stronger to stay healthy, and we’ve just got to be resilient so the next man up knows what to do and can be ready to go.”
North Murray (1-1) had 447 yards of offense, while Model finished with 156 as Dublin led the Blue Devils with 86 yards on nine carries. The Mountaineers lost two fumbles in the first half, both of which were recovered by Model’s Drew Tanner, but neither led to points for the home team.
After Poag Jr. hit Hayden Hulett on a 12-yard touchdown pass to end the game’s opening drive, the two teams traded punts until North Murray’s third possession. Tidwell was caught in the backfield for a 14-yard loss, but recovered for a 36-yard gain on the next play.
A penalty then set the Mountaineers up on the 20 and Noah Lunsford broke free of a few defenders and rambled into the end zone on the next play with 3:30 left in the quarter.
Model (0-3) then had its lone scoring drive of the night as Dublin took the direct snap to the left and bolted down the sideline on third-and-15. Matthew Syverson made the extra point to put the Blue Devils on the board, 14-7.
Poag Jr. led a two-play scoring drive early in the second quarter as he completed a 33-yard pass to Logan Viars before faking the handoff on the next play and picking up a 47-yard TD run. North Murray added one more score in the half as Tidwell found a path down the side for a 48-yard touchdown with 5:13 to go.
North Murray travels to Ringgold next week, while Model is off.