I remember watching Rob Murphy break out big time in Springfield’s season-opening victory at Interboro last fall.
He was undersized, I thought, but man … he could fly.
Here’s what I wrote about Murphy that night:
The big playmaker for Springfield was junior Rob Murphy, who seems more than ready to assume the role of featured running back. The speedy 5-10, 190-pounder bounced around like a pinball. He carved up Interboro’s defense to the tune of 157 yards on 17 carries. Murphy got the Cougars rolling early, returning a punt return early in the first quarter to make it 7-0.
The only thing slowing Murphy down was leg cramps late in the game.
Murphy was on pace for a 1,200-yard campaign before a serious back injury derailed his junior season. Springfield floundered down the stretch without him, and eventually was upset by Academy Park in the quarterfinal round of the District One Class AAA tournament. Murphy finished with 100 carries for 762 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Second-year coach Tom Kline said Murphy: “(He’s) extremely explosive for a smaller back.”
Kline listed Murphy as 5-10, 175 pounds this year. That would be a 15 pound drop off from a year ago.
Though it’s too soon to know for sure, Springfield has boat load of talent that’ll be getting the ball out of the backfield. Murphy is one of the most dangerous backs in the county, but the Cougars won’t need him to do it all. Springfield has a handful of potential game-changers willing to carry the rock.
They are (with their 2011 stats in parenthesis): Mike Dougherty (85-444-7), Barry Foster (62-280-3) and Cameron Durham (49-252-4),
Not a bad set up to have if you’re Kline.
Earlier this week Kline offered a general outlook to the season.
“The team is very driven by how we ended last year and we will work hard to keep the tradition of successful seasons of the last few years going,” he said. ”Our kids are have set big goals and are going to work their tails off to achieve them.”