MURRAY Murray learned a tough lesson Friday, as Logan came to town to effectively demonstrate its impressive spread offense en route to a 41-8 season-opening victory.
"They're the real deal," said Spartans coach Dan Aragon, referring to the Grizzlies. "(Quarterback) Jeff Manning is a freakin' stud. Coach (Mike) Favero runs the spread better than anyone else in the state."
Manning and his receivers burned the Murray defense, hooking up on 15 completions on 28 attempts for 306 yards and five touchdowns. Manning also added 34 rushing yards on 10 attempts for the Grizzlies.
"They really beat the (crap) out of us," Aragon said. "Coach Favero really has his kids ready to play."
After the opening kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, Logan marched 80 yards in nine plays to score on Manning's 16-yard pass to Scott Richins with 9:13 to play in the first.
The lead was extended to 13-0 nearly five minutes later as Manning engineered a second scoring drive; this one 65 yards in five plays. Manning hit Josh Thompson for a 20-yard TD strike with 4:26 to play.
A third touchdown toss came with 1:06 remaining in the first as Manning capped a 70-yard drive with a 40-yard TD pass to Zach Skabelund for a 20-0 lead.
Leading 27-0 after a Dalton Birky four-yard TD run, Skabeland took another pass from Manning for a score. This time, he scored on a 22-yard pass that capped a five-play, 55-yard drive with 8:01 to play in the second. The Grizzlies took their 34-0 lead into the locker room.
Manning again led a scoring strike on his team's first drive of the second half. Starting at his own 38, he conducted a scoring drive capped with a 30-yard TD strike to Brennan Alleman and a 41-0 lead.17 comments on this story
Murray, which hadn't managed a single first down until late in the third, finally scored its first points when Logan backup QB Tyler Stevens took a bad snap and was sacked in the end zone. Logan led 41-2 with 2:21 left in the third.
Brandt Anderson scored the lone Murray touchdown on a three-yard run. His touchdown with 6:58 to play capped a 68-yard drive; the longest Spartans drive of the evening.
"They executed and we didn't," Aragon said. "We've got a lot of good kids and we'll be back. We're excited for what we're going to do during the rest of the season and we still have our goal to be better than we were last year."