High school football Q&A with Riverview’s Isaac Murphy

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 | 7:21 PM

If necessity is the mother of invention, then the Riverview coaches discovered the defensive end they’ve been looking for all season.

Because of a ton of injuries on the defensive line, backup junior safety Isaac Murphy was called into battle last week and moved to the trenches of the defensive end position where he racked up nine tackles and three sacks in Riverview’s 19-8 nonconference win over Jefferson-Morgan. It was Murphy’s first career start.

“We had some spots to fill because of injury and we said, ‘Hey, what about Ike?’ ” Riverview coach Todd Massack said. “He’s a tough, hard-nosed kid. He didn’t skip a beat and stepped right in. In practice, he’s quick on the edge, and we were hoping that what we saw in practice would transfer over to the game and it did.”

Did it ever. The 5-foot-6, 135-pound Murphy might have given up ton of size playing on the line, but the wide receiver had plenty of speed to get around the edge. He tormented Jefferson-Morgan quarterback Jacob Broadwater all game, sacking Broadwater three times.

Murphy’s instructions going into the game were pretty simple: “We just said get through as fast as you can and just get back there and make disruptions,” Massack said.

The former soccer player and wrestler has indeed found himself a home and a starting spot on the Riverview (1-5, 0-4) defense for the rest of the season.

“Who would of thought that he would’ve had a game like that at defensive end,” Massack said. “Three weeks ago, Ike was our backup safety. He stepped up to the challenge.”

How nervous were you in your first career start and playing a position that you’ve never played before?

The first series I was pretty shaky, but once I started hitting I started to loosen up.

How sore were you when you woke up Saturday morning?

I’ve never been that sore before. I didn’t expect to be that sore. I woke up the next morning, and I didn’t want to move.

What was your reaction when coaches told you that you were moving to defensive end?

At first, I thought they were crazy because I’m not that big. They told me stories that they’ve coached players that were not that big.

How relieving was it to notch that first win of the season last week over Jefferson-Morgan?

It felt great. I knew the team could do it. After the game we all had fun in the locker room.

What was it like to play under the lights last Friday night?

It was awesome. The atmosphere was great. The student section was amazing.

How high is the Raiders’ confidence heading into the Friday’s matchup with rival Springdale?

We’re pretty confident, and we also know what we have to do to win. It’s going to be a fight with Springdale and not be a pushover.

What’s it going to take for Riverview to get a win over the Dynamos?

I think if we pound the ball down their throats, not make any mistakes, no turnovers and play the game that we know how to play, we should be good.

What made you go from soccer to football so late in your career?

I grew up playing soccer because my friends were doing it so I wanted to do it. As I got older, I started to get more aggressive and started playing football again. I played (football) in sixth grade, then went back to soccer.

How does wrestling help you on the defensive line?

It helped me a lot to stay low and the hand fighting was great for me. Tackling was like shooting a double leg.

When you look back at the 2018 season, what will stick out the most to you?

Probably the night game, everybody’s mindset that game, and knowing that we needed to win that game.

Why do you wear the No. 7?

I used to be a soccer player. I liked Cristiano Ronaldo a lot, and No. 7 is a number I’ve liked for a while.

Which young player on the team will make a splash over the next few years?

I think there’s a few. Freshman linebacker Anthony Mazur, he’s very aggressive and loves playing the sport of football. Quarterback Ryan Aber, he has a great arm and he can throw really far.

Who is your favorite NFL player?

Jalen Ramsey.

Do you have a favorite pre-game meal?

I usually have peanut butter (sandwich). I cut up bananas and put on honey.

Who has the best nickname on the team?

Probably defensive tackle Ben Britton. They call him “B-Train” because he just doesn’t stop going.

What is your favorite college football team?

Pitt. My dad and I have been watching them forever. We used to go to the games. I love Pitt.

Who do you have this weekend, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati?

I have to go with the (hometown) team. They’ve been struggling, and I like Antonio Brown.


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