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READING — On a record setting night for James Murphy, it was his teammate Colby Goodchild who stole the spotlight.
Goodchild rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns as No. 7 Reading remained undefeated with a 26-17 win over Middlesex League Liberty foe Woburn on Friday night at Hollingsworth Field.
Murphy — who has starred at quarterback for three years as a Rocket — broke the school record for career touchdown passes with the 45th of his tenure on a 23-yard strike to Patrick DuRoss in the second quarter. The record was previously held by 2014 Boston Herald All-Scholastic Drew Belcher.
“The win is the most important thing,” Murphy said. “The offensive line was incredible. (Woburn) said they were going to stop our run and our offense and that did not happen. We out-toughed them today.”
The Rockets (5-0) were exceptional defensively in the second half surrendering just three points and limiting the Tanners offense to one completed pass. Offensively, meanwhile, the Rockets tormented Woburn on the ground out of their spread formation.The two sides traded blows in the first half with Woburn showcasing a surprising passing attack in the early going. Junior quarterback Brett Tuzzolo opened 7-for-8 for 115 yards including a 38-yard touchdown pass to Derek Dabrieo to help the Tanners battle Reading to a 14-14 tie midway through the second quarter.
Reading, however, began to assert itself before the half with Murphy completing passes to Aidan Bekkenhuis and Alex DiNapoli before finding DuRoss on a seam route for a 23-yard score that pushed the Rockets in front 20-14 and set the school record.
“I grew up watching guys like Corey DiLoreto and Drew Belcher, who I got the chance to work with, and those guys inspire me to play the position at Reading and carry on the tradition,” Murphy said.
The Tanners (3-1) cut the deficit in half late in the third on a 32-yard field goal by Marc Cutone and stared at a chance in the final stanza to potentially jump in front when its defense put Reading into a fourth-and-10 situation. Murphy, however, evaded pressure, darted down the far sideline, and lowered his shoulder through a defender to pick up the first down. One play later, Goodchild put the game on ice taking the handoff skirting around a defender before finding the end zone to put Reading on top 26-17 with six minutes left.
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