By Darron Patterson
FAIRHOPE — Sophomore Josh Murphy threw for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns at Fairhope Municipal Stadium Thursday night, leading St. Michael to a shocking 24-21 Class 4A, Region 1 win over No. 8-ranked Jackson and giving the Cardinals their first region victory in school history.
Philip Rivers, in his first season as head coach since retiring from the NFL sustained a cut on his nose in the aftermath of the celebration, but said he was thrilled.
“We have some really good athletes,” a joyous Rivers said as he dabbed at his nose with a towel. “We came out and refused to kick deep to them because they had too much speed, and we didn’t want them running one back on us like last year. It’s just a great win for these kids. I’m just so proud of them.”
St. Michael improved to 2-0 overall, 1-0 in region play. Jackson fell to 2-1 and 0-1.
St. Michael running back Ezra Sexton ran for one score and kicked a 28-yard field goal, while Murphy threw touchdown passes of 66 yards to Calvin Caron and 34 yards to Micah Farrell.
Jackson quarterback Walter Taylor hit Jamarion Sampson on an 80-yard score and Tylen Campbell with a 71-yard strike for the Aggies.
Jackson had an opportunity to cut the lead to three points before the half, but Campbell fumbled at the 1 and Jonathan Mills recovered for St. Michael.
The second half was scoreless.
St. Michael entered the season with an all-time record of 5-25, which they have now improved to 7-25.
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