By Robert Wilson
Murrah High broke a 13-game losing streak in football Friday night with a 15-12 victory over previously undefeated Port Gibson at South Jackson Field.
And the Mustangs can thank senior linebacker-running back Jeffrey Johnson Jr. for the win.
The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Johnson had 16 tackles, scored the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 5-yard run and stopped the potential go ahead drive with an interception with 20 seconds to play.
Murrah, 1-3, had not won since beating Wingfield 26-12 in the season opener in 2019. The Mustangs lost the next 10 games in 2019. Murrah and the rest of the Jackson Public Schools teams did not play football last season due to covid and Murrah lost its first three games this season.
“Jeffrey is the heart and soul of our football team,” Murrah coach Marcus Gibson, who is in his third season as head coach. “He exemplifies what a scholar athlete should be and represents his team and Murrah High School to the fullest. He would be the first to boast about his 4.0 grade point average over any achievements on the football field. It’s not often you find a special young man that exudes leadership, commitment, and sacrifice the way Jeffrey does.
“Jeffrey made a play at the end of the game that won the game for the team as our offense was struggling with turnovers. I looked to Jeffrey and the defense and told them that they had to win the game and they answered the ball without a doubt. Any time you win it’s great and they fact that the kids owned it was magnificent.”
Murrah’s other points came off a safety when freshman Trenston Sanders blocked a punt and a touchdown pass from junior Gared Clark to junior Christian Jackson.
Murrah opens Class 6A, Region 2 play Friday night with a visit to Oxford, the 2020 6A state runner-up and one of the top teams in Mississippi this season.