The eighth-seeded Hartley High School football team lost 20-6 to No. 1 Martins Ferry last Friday in the Division IV playoffs.

"I think the game went about as it was expected," said Hartley receivers coach Derrek Downard, whose squad finished 7-4. "Their quarterback (Jeremy Murray) was a tough kid. It was a field-position battle and a well-fought game on both sides."

"It was a great ballgame," Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. "They had a couple key plays and there were a couple questionable turnovers. It's a game of inches, and they got them. But I'm really proud of our guys and they restored their toughness that was questioned a week ago."

Hartley managed to contain Murray as he rushed 16 times for 74 yards, 11 of which came on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Purple Riders running back Matt Shreve had two touchdown runs. His 2-yarder opened the scoring in the first quarter, and his 1-yarder provided the hosts a 13-6 lead at the half.

Hartley's only touchdown came in the first quarter on an 11-yard run by Malik McCord, who finished with 63 yards on nine carries. Geoffrey Whiteside led the Hawks with 81 yards on 11 carries.

"We didn't give up big plays, and we made them drive the length of the field," Downard said. "Obviously, Murray was our big focus and our defense did a good job containing him."

Burchfield said he was disappointed the season ended for the Hawks but added he was pleased with how the team did in first season as coach.

"I'm very proud of our seniors for helping take this team back to the playoffs," Burchfield said. "The future of Hartley football is very bright."

HARTLEY 6 0 0 0 - 6
MARTINS FERRY 7 6 0 7 -20

MF-Shreve 2 run (Neier kick)
H-McCord 11 run (kick failed)
MF-Shreve 1 run (kick failed)
MF-Murray 11 run (Neier kick)