Murphy leads Dobbins' wrecking crew

Posted: November 14, 2011

WHILE CLARENCE Murphy indeed majors in plumbing at Murrell Dobbins Tech, don't assume his fascination with faucets is all-encompassing.

When football doesn't intervene, as it did Saturday, not that he minded, Murphy puts in time for an uncle's contracting firm.

His primary activity?

"I like doing demolition," he said.

Murphy usually can be found swinging a sledgehammer because it's his main responsibility to break through walls so leaky pipes can be accessed.

"It's fun. You have to love a job where you can smash stuff," he said, laughing. "I've been doing it for about 3 years now. It helps me for football, too, because I get to carry around heavy stuff, like cinder blocks, and that makes me stronger."

Murphy, a 6-1, 275-pound senior, is a two-way tackle, and Saturday at Northeast he showed the strength of two men as Dobbins blasted Boys' Latin Charter, 42-12, for the Public AAA championship and a spot in Saturday's City Title (4 o'clock, also at Northeast) vs. Archbishop Wood.

His blocking helped Jameel Davis and Daquan "Day-Day" Brown combine for 310 yards and five touchdowns while his six stops on defense included one sack and two others for losses.

Before the season, considering how hard graduation had hit, few would have predicted a second consecutive title (and third in 4 years) for the Mustangs. Murphy wasn't sure. Plus, he had to deal with a work-related injury.

"I was coming down off a ladder and I stepped right on a nail," he said. "I had my work boots on, but it went right through my left foot. I was pretty mad at myself for not even looking. I thought right away, 'This is gonna mess up my season.' It wasn't really bad, though. Just caused bruising."

Dobbins' grunts are center Kyle Napper-Green, guards Kareem Jefferson and Zahmir Mitchell, and tackles Murphy and Gibreel Conteh. When two tight ends are used, look for Kevin Norris and Dishon Solomon.

Murphy is the lone veteran, and a year ago he played center.

"Moving to tackle, at first I wasn't sure how that was going to work," he said. "Coach [John] Sullivan said I'd be fine, so I had faith. I worked hard to learn that position and I tried to bring along the other guys, mostly first-year players, so we wouldn't have a tough season."

Though Dobbins dropped two of its first five games and finished third in division play, it bested a conqueror, Simon Gratz Charter, in last week's semis and in this one mostly had its way with a squad fresh from a 30-0 triumph over then-9-0 West Philadelphia.

Davis carried 16 times for 200 yards and TDs of 42 and 90 yards while Brown (15-110) tallied from 1, 10 and 86 yards. On that long one, the actual distance covered was 99 yards because Brown had to track down an errant pitchout from quarterback Delane Hart.

Even the second unit prospered. In the waning moments, backup QB Trayvon Faison dash for a 47-yard TD.

For the Warriors, Erik Lark passed for one score and ran for another.

Of all the productive runs, Murphy liked Davis' the best.

"Any time we get him 100 yards, he treats us to McDonald's," he said. "We'll be over there [across Lehigh Avenue from Dobbins] after a practice, or even right after the game."

Dobbins established early command. A tackle by Murphy helped to force BL into a three-and-out and Davis took the fourth play 42 yards for a score. The kickoff return yielded a fumble (recovery by Steven Bizzell) and Brown soon was scoring from the 1.

Faison, Napper-Green and Rafiq Williams posted interceptions while Antwain Kitt added a fumble recovery. Napper-Green uncorked a 39-yard return to BL's 13, then had to hear Murphy playfully roar at him, "I woulda took that pick to the crib!"

"Would I really have? Nah, probably not," he said later. "But that's always my dream, to run back an interception."

Murphy, who lives on Susquehanna near 10th, hopes to become an athletic trainer. He has scheduled a visit to Bloomsburg and others are sure to invite him.

If dirty work needs to be done, just ask him.

"I love breaking things," he said.

|
|
|
|
|