The Collierville Dragons controlled the clock and eventually picked up a 9-6 win Friday night on the road at Center Hill in Olive Branch, Miss.
In a defensive game that saw both teams combine for 21 penalties and only two touchdowns, it was important that time was on Collierville’s side.
The Dragons commanded the clock for nearly 30 minutes and ran 17 more plays than the Mustangs (1-1). Collierville’s defense also forced two fumbles.
Both teams struggled to move the ball through the air, with Collierville quarterback Mitch Austin throwing for 61 yards and Center Hill quarterback Preston Newson completing just two passes for 15 yards.
Both teams had much more success on the ground, where the Dragons nearly hit the 200-yard mark and the Mustangs rushed for 152 yards.
Senior Collierville running back Peyton Murphy picked up 77 yards on 14 attempts and scored the Dragons’ lone touchdown in the second quarter.
Ladarin Brown chipped in 68 yards for the Dragons and Kobe Perkins had 43 yards on just six touches.
Collierville’s first offensive possession of the game started well, with two first downs in just as many plays. Three plays later the Dragons moved the chains again on an 18-yard run from Murphy. However, after a handful of incomplete passes and a false start penalty the drive ended with a missed 39-yard field goal.
The only points of the first half came just after the 7-minute mark of the second quarter when Murphy punched in a 4-yard touchdown run on fourth down. It was the twelfth play of the drive. Caleb Myers successfully kicked the extra point for the Dragons.
Collierville would get two more attempts to score before halftime.
Both teams went scoreless to open the second half. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that Center Hill scored a touchdown on 28-yard run from Greg Thomas Jr. However, the Mustangs failed to convert the extra point after Collierville’s C.J. Barnes blocked the kick.
Back on offense, the Dragons completed two first downs before punting the ball with less than five minutes left.
After a holding penalty on offense, Center Hill was backed up to the 11-yard line. An intentional grounding call was next, pushing the Mustangs back to their own 1-yard line.
On the next play, Collierville sealed the game when junior defensive tackle Jared Dawson sacked Newson in the end zone for a safety.
Collierville finished the win with Austin taking a knee. It was their first win of the season.
The Dragons will host 2-0 Bartlett this Friday at 7 p.m.