Written by Brandon Hill
1ADI defenses beware, the electric Murtaugh offense has a new home.
The Devils, who previously called the 1ADII Sawtooth Conference home, were one of the many teams this offseason to move up a classification. In 2020, Murtaugh will compete in the 1ADI Snake River Conference.
The Devils, along with the Lighthouse Christian Lions, joined the conference after this summer’s IHSAA realignment. Both teams represented the 1ADII Sawtooth in last year’s playoffs, with Murtaugh reaching the quarterfinals and Lighthouse Christian claiming the state title.
To reach the postseason, Murtaugh posted a rollercoaster regular season, filled with close losses and high-scoring shootouts week after week. The Devils averaged 42 points per game last year, aided by the strong running game of senior running back Hunter Andersen and new quarterback Ty Stranger.
The Devils burst onto the scene to open the year, dropping 86 on Hagerman. Murtaugh also flew past Castleford 58-20, lit up the Camas County defense with 66 and stunned Hansen with 52.
While Head Coach Todd Jensen looks to build off last year’s offensive momentum, the defense remains a question mark after several high-scoring affairs kept the Devils from reaching their full potential.
Against Dietrich, Murtaugh allowed 52, scoring only 18 themselves. Lighthouse Christian managed to post 51. And in a key matchup against Carey to close out the regular season, the Devils missed out on their chance to knock off the state’s eventual runner up, allowing 80 points while scoring 60.
The Devils now join a conference filled to the brim with postseason regulars like Butte County and Oakley. If Murtaugh wants to reserve a spot in this year’s playoffs, the Devils and Jensen’s defense will need to be on their A-game week in and week out.
Murtaugh begins its 1ADI journey against Hansen Aug. 28, with back-to-back key matchups against Oakley Sept. 5 and Lighthouse Christian Oct. 2.
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated Murtaugh scores and schedules throughout the season.