Horns Happenings

9-21, Thursday
JCMS at Chuckey-Doak (football)
JCHS vs. Elizabethton
(volleyball)

9-22, Friday
JCHS (Open Date)

9-23, Saturday
Johnson Co. Youth football (Home)
vs. Science Hill 11, 1, 3
JCHS (Jr. Varsity) at Crockett (Volleyball)

 

9-25, Monday
Johnson at Sullivan Central (volleyball)
JCHS at Hampton (JV football)
9-26, Tuesday
Kachea at JCHS
(Volleyball)
Kachea at JCMS (Volleyball)

9-28, Thursday
JCMS at Hampton (Football)

9-29, Friday
Claiborne Co. at Johnson Co. (Football)

NOTE: Junior high football and JV games begin at 6 pm.
Varsity football games start at 7:30 pm
Volleyball games include; freshmen, JV and Varsity games
Start times will vary.
District golf match begins at 9 am.

 

Youth League Longhorns sweep the Crockett Pioneers

JC’s Camden Johnson #54 runs breaks away for a 55 yard TD run.

By Tim Chambers

It was the youth league Longhorns that showcased its talents on Saturday and all three teams did so in convincing fashion. The Grass-cutters remained undefeated by defeating the Pioneers 27-14. The Mighty-Mites won their first game of the season by a 20-19 score. The Junior Pee Wee team made it a complete sweep by taking down the Pioneers 14-7.

Mighty-Mites
Johnson County 27
Crockett Pioneers 14
A quartet of Longhorns scored a touchdown each in their big win over the Pioneers on Saturday on Harold Arnold Field.
Sawyer Marshall got them on the board with a 13-yard touchdown run. Carter Atwood followed that up with a 5-yard TD on a quarterback keeper.
The Horns biggest play came on a 55-yard TD run from Colton Grindstaff. Hunter Paisley tacked on the last TD on a 3-yard run.
Paisley had a big day, rushing for 110 yards with five tackles on defense. Grindstaff added 63 yards on the ground and a game high nine tackles. Marshall and Atwood combined for another 40 yards on the ground and four tackles each in addition to their touchdown runs. Atwood also tossed a 2-point conversion pass to Marshall.
The Longhorns got an extra point from Bryson Kimble. Daniel Yax and Eli Tester had a fumble recovery each.
Kimble, Rylee Henson and Hunter McElyea collected three tackles apiece.
The undefeated Longhorns 4-0 will host Science Hill at home on Saturday.

Mighty-Mites
Johnson County 20
Crockett Pioneers 19
A happy bunch of young Longhorns celebrated their first win of the season on Saturday after winning 20-19 over the Pioneers.
Camden Johnson was the workhorse, scoring all 20 points including the game winner.
His 7-yard touchdown run and conversion with 1:57 remaining was the deciding factor in the game.
Johnson had touchdown runs of 55 and 37 yards along with his game winner. The defense stepped up late to preserve the win.
Grayson Hensley made a game saving touchdown tackle on the last play of the game for the Longhorns. He finished the afternoon with 10.
Kingston Mills was the “king” on defense with 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Avery Blevins played an outstanding game at center and came up with some key stops on defense.
Blevins, Mills, Mason Mills, Trevor McCloud and Hunter Stanley were singled out for playing exceptionally in the offensive line. Bentley Forrester had a big game on defense with five stops. Adam Roush played his best game of the year for the Horns.

Junior Pee Wee
Johnson County 14
Crockett Pioneers 7
Jace Stout scored a pair of touchdowns in Johnson County’s seven-point victory over the Pioneers. He electrified the crowd by picking off a pass and taking it 56 yards for the Longhorns first score.
His second TD came on a 50-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Stout booted the PAT that in youth football is good for two points.
Christopher Thomas played well in his first start at quarterback.
The defensive front three of Thunder Fletcher, Nate Dorman and Travis Waspi dominated the line of scrimmage and came up with several big tackles.
Hats off to Charlie Jennings who also serves as their head coach in addition to his duties as Johnson County’s youth league president.
Jennings has over 30 players on his squad that make it difficult to get everyone in for six plays during a game.
He started most of his second unit on Saturday, rewarding them for being dedicated throughout the season.
The team is currently 3-1 and they’re blessed with some talented young players.
Sam Cretsinger has performed well all season at defensive end while Juan Mejia has been a steady player.
The running of Kyle Sluder and the play of Carson Jennings at quarterback have been a key factor in the team’s fast start.
The Horns will play at home on Saturday against Science Hill at 2 pm.

 

JCMS Longhorns shut out Unaka’s Junior Rangers 32-0

JCMS’ Preston Greer #1 scores on a 15-yard TD pass versus Unaka.

By Tim Chambers

Today’s youth can’t get enough of the fidget spinners much like Longhorn fans can’t get enough of Johnson County football. An epidemic called “winning” has become contagious and it is turning the community into a frenzy.
The middle school Longhorns blanked Unaka 32-0 Tuesday on eighth grade night in front of a sizable crowd on Harold Arnold Field. They are now 3-0 while the high school supports a 5-0 mark.
The Longhorns started out slow but picked up steam as the game progressed. Part of that was due to the running of tailback Corie Neely. The little speedster scored three touchdowns and rushed for 150 yards on 14 carries. He also scored four two-point conversions. Head coach Devin Shaw praised his body of work but also singled out some others who contributed nicely.
“We’ve been running Corie between the tackles because we’ve got so much faith in our offensive line,” said Shaw. “They’ve been playing very well and he’s been running hard in every game. He sees the field well and he knows when to bounce out and when to cut back. It’s hard for a defense to get a read on him.”
The Longhorns scored on their first play from scrimmage. Neely broke loose for a 39-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to put them in front 8-0.
The defense got tested on Unaka’s second possession in a big way. The Rangers drove to the 12-yard line but their next three plays after that resulted in minus 16 yards. That drive stalled at the 28.
Johnson County looked sluggish on its next possession but finally worked some kinks out on their third one.
They managed to move the football down to the 15 but the next three plays totaled only four yards. That didn’t set very well with Shaw.
“We played like we were down and out of energy the whole first half,” added Shaw. “We challenged them at halftime and they responded. I think them throwing the ball a lot threw us off early, but we finally got it figured out and started making some good reads. We had three interceptions and some timely sacks. I’m pleased with the way we played in the second half.”
That’s because his team lit up the scoreboard for 24 points during the third quarter.
Preston Greer got things started by hauling in a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Brown to make it 16-0 after Neely’s conversion.
Johnson County’s third touchdown was set up by their defense. Big John Stout broke through the Rangers line and blocked a punt at the 30 from his tackle position.
Neely’s 22-yard touchdown run on the very next play made it 24-0 after his two-point conversion. He touched on his team’s play in the second half.
“We had a pep rally earlier that day and we were all pumped up,” said Neely. “I think we lost that at the first of the game but found it to start the second half.”
Neely and the defense would strike again on their fourth and final score.
Greer’s second interception of the game gave JCMS possession at the 25. Neely took it in from there with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Johnson County flooded the field with reserves in the final quarter.
The Longhorns compiled 230 yards of total offense with 215 coming on the ground.
Rice ended the game with 35 yards rushing. Sammy Walters added 30.
Rice led the defense with eight tackles and a sack. Ethan Icenhour added seven tackles and a sack. Brown, Stout and Neely had five tackles apiece in addition to Stout’s blocked punt. Nick Speed and Shawn Forrester collected three apiece.
Greer had a monster game collecting six tackles on defense in addition to his two interceptions. He also scored his first TD of the season.
“We had a lot of kids step up and play well,” added Shaw. “They’ve done everything we have asked them to do.”
The Longhorns are undefeated in league play and currently sit on top in the standings. They’ll play at Chuckey-Doak on Thursday.
Kickoff is set to take place at 6 pm.
——
Unaka 0 0 0 0 — 0
JCMS 8 0 24 0 — 32

Scoring Summary
JC—Neely 39 run (Neely run)
JC—Greer 15 pass from Brown (Neely run)
JC—Neely 25 run (Neely run)
JC—Neely 22 run (Neely run)

 

Longhorns move up to third in 3A state poll

By Tim Chambers

A couple of close calls in Greene County have worked in Johnson County’s favor so far in the AP State’s 3A football poll. The Longhorns moved up to third this week after Pearl-Cohn dropped their second game of the season to Cookeville 28-7.
The Longhorns have a 15-point lead over Smith County 5-0 who moved up from sixth to fourth. Alcoa 3-2 remains on top despite its close loss to Maryville ranked third in 6A.
Alcoa defeated Pigeon Forge 52-0. Raleigh Egypt topped Woodale 25-0 while Smith County got by York Institute 42-41. Milan dropped to eighth after falling to Covington 28-27
A couple of future opponents for the Longhorns are moving up in the polls. Happy Valley is 7th in 2A at 4-0. Cloudland is 7th in 1A with a 4-0 mark.

The Associated Press 10 teams in Tennessee’s 3A Division.

Class 3A
Rec Pts Prv
1.Alcoa (14) 3-2 174 1
2.Raleigh Egypt (4) 5-0 159 2
3.Johnson County 5-0 129 4
4.Smith County 4-0 114 6
5. Austin-East   3-1 91  7
6.Pearl-Cohn 3-2 73  3
7.Bolivar Central 4-1 63  8
8.Red Bank 3-1 44  9
8.Milan 3-2 44  5
10.South Gibson 4-1 40  10

Others receiving 12 or more points: Covington 24. Loudon 13

NOTE: Local Ranked Teams
6A: Science Hill 8th (4-1)
5A: Daniel Boone 6th (3-1)
4A: Elizabethton 6th (4-1)
4A: Greeneville 1st (5-0)
2A: Happy Valley 7th (4-0)
1A: Cloudland 7th (4-0)

All Associated Press members in Tennessee are eligible to participate in the high school football poll. Those who voted for this week’s poll are: The Daily Post-Athenian, Athens; Chattanooga Free Press, Chattanooga; Cleveland Daily Banner, Cleveland; Cookeville Herald-Citizen, Cookeville; The Tennessean (Nashville), Murfreesboro; State Gazette, Dyersburg; The Jackson Sun, Jackson; Johnson City Press, Johnson City; Marshall County Tribune (Lewisburg); The Daily Times, Maryville; Southern Standard (McMinnville); The Tomahawk (Mountain City; The Commercial Appeal, Memphis; The Mountain Press, Sevierville; Union City Daily Messenger, Union City; WCMT, Martin.

JCHS Lady Longhorns sweep Happy Valley Warrior netters

JC’s Courtney Brooks #20 played well as a setter at the net.

By Tim Chambers

The Lady Longhorns picked up their fifth win of the season on Monday night inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium. The varsity won their match in straight sets, 25-8, 25-11 and 25-14 over Happy Valley.
The Warriors are coached by former Longhorn standout athlete, Ashley Arnold, but it wasn’t the homecoming she was hoping for.
Johnson County scored a big portion of its points on first serves and they didn’t allow the Warriors many net points.
Courtney Brooks, Kam Sluder, Renie Morrow and Margaret Morrow served up multiple points in all three matches. Head coach Donna Poteet agreed that was a key factor in the game.
“We served the ball well and had some good hits during the match,” said Poteet. “Happy Valley has a young team and they’ve only had volleyball for a few years. But we came out ready to play and didn’t give up easy points. I felt like that was an area where we’ve improved a lot.”
Renie Morrow had 10 kills in the game for the Horns. Sophomore Taylor Parsons added nine kills and two blocks. Sluder and Margaret Morrow produced five apiece.
Shahnoa Greene and Brittney Brooks were singled out by Poteet for their outstanding play on defense.
“The whole team played well and that was good to see,” added Poteet. “I thought we played hard and with a lot of effort. They keep getting better every game. I like the attitude that each brings with them.”

Junior Varsity
The junior varsity had little trouble winning their match 25-7 and 25-10.
Poteet singled out Taylor Cox and Hannah Brooks for their strong play at the net and in the serving department.

Freshmen
Cassidy Lakatos led the scoring, helping Johnson County defeat Happy Valley 25-11 and 25-9 in straight sets.
The Longhorns will face Elizabethton on Thursday at home after going on the road to play Sullivan South on Tuesday. The junior varsity will take part in a tournament at Crockett on Saturday.

Johnson County Middle School volleyball update

Pictured is the 7th grade team on the front row and 8th grade volleyball squad on the back row.

By Tim Chambers

Coach Dottie Phipps and her assistant coach, Billie Blevins, are working hard to upgrade the volleyball program in Johnson County.
The seventh grade junior varsity squad has an overall record of 7-1 with its only loss coming outside of league play.
“They are playing very strong and confident on the court,” says Phipps. “We are very proud of all the girls and loving the opportunity we have to work with each of them.”
The seventh grade squad lost their season opener to Unicoi County, then reeled off seven consecutive league victories.
“They have hopes of keeping their conference record unbroken,” added Phipps. “We got some good teams left on our schedule.”
The eighth grade squad is 1-4 in league play and 1-6 overall.
“This team is improving every day and they’re starting to play well,” says Phipps. “We did struggle some with our nerves, but they are getting better. It’s a very important part of the game and we’re working on it.”
Johnson County has found the going tough at times but Phipps knows her team can prevail.
“The competition is tough, but we can win,” added Phipps. “I feel that we are going to beat these teams when we face them again. We are excited about the games remaining on our schedule. I expect these kids to play even harder down the stretch.”
JCMS’ final home game is on September 26 against Kachea. They will host the conference tournament on September 30.
Junior varsity play begins at 9:00 that morning followed by the varsity in the afternoon.
Coach Phipps urges everyone to come out and support the Junior High Lady Longhorns.
The team will be doing a fundraiser spaghetti dinner on September 22 at the First Christian Church’s Fellowship Hall from 5-7.
Phipps stated they would appreciate everyone’s support.

NOTE: We will have a complete story with players’ names and highlights during the season in next Wednesday’s edition of the Tomahawk.

Johnson County Longhorns corral West Greene Buffaloes 28-21; remain perfect at 5-0

JC’s Shane Greer #22 returns a punt 45 yards against WG.

By Tim Chambers

West Greene got the respect it deserved but Johnson County got the win it needed in a battle for first place in Region 3A. The Longhorns stayed perfect at 5-0 with a come-from-behind 28-21 win on Friday night at Jim Sauceman Field.
The Buffaloes sprinted to an early 14-0 advantage only to watch the Horns reel off 28 unanswered points.
Head coach Don Kerley was quick to compliment the opposition. He also praised his squad for staying the course for four quarters.
“West Greene is a very good team with a great player,” said Kerley. “Coach Joe Case does a great job with them and they were well prepared. We knew coming in that Julian Lane was good and he caused us some headaches. I felt like our depth was the difference. They looked tired in the fourth quarter and we didn’t. We played a lot of kids and it wore them down. We never quit after they got 14 points ahead. That’s the sign of a good football team. I’m very proud of our kids.”
Kerley hit the nail on the head with his overall assessment. Lane was a headache from the get-go but Gage Hampton and Nathan Arnold proved to be the same for West Greene in the second half.
Lane finished the night with 200 all-purpose yards on offense. He rushed 14 times for 95 yards and caught seven passes for 105 more and a touchdown. His play allowed them to dominate play in the first half.
The Buffaloes compiled 332 yards of total offense with a big portion of those coming in the first half. However it was the Longhorns who should have got on the board first.
Shane Greer’s 45-yard punt return gave them excellent field position at the Buffaloes’ 31.
They had the ball first and goal at the three but a high snap was fumbled and West Greene recovered at the 11.
The Buffaloes marched 89 yards in six plays with a 48-yard pass play from sophomore quarterback Alick Daugherty to Kyler Clowers being the key play. Lane scored from seven yards out with Manuel Katau adding the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 6:11 showing in the quarter.
It was another Longhorn turnover that led to West Greene’s next score. Kaleb Sciarra recovered a fumble after Nathan Arnold was sacked, giving the Buffs possession at the 41.
Lane finished off the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run with 45 seconds remaining the first quarter. The Buffaloes smelled an upset win at that point but Johnson County would change the aroma from there.
Hampton’s running helped the Horns orchestrate a 12-play, 73-yard drive that ate up nearly six minutes off the clock. Hampton scored on a 2-yard run with Jared Kimble adding the PAT with 6:17 remaining in the half.
The Horns drove deep into Buffalo territory on their final drive of the half but couldn’t come away with any points. They trailed 14-7 at intermission.
“We didn’t want to leave here with a loss after the way they won at our place last year,” said Hampton. “We made the right adjustments at halftime and came back out and took control of the game. This was a big win for us, but now we have to get ready to play Claiborne County in two weeks. We definitely won’t be looking past anyone.”
Kerley’s adjustments at halftime were just what the doctor ordered in the third quarter. The Longhorns played worthy of their number four ranking by dominating the 12-minute stanza.
Quarterback Nathan Arnold led the surge by completing his first four passes on their opening drive that covered 64 yards.
Arnold hit Bud Icenhour with a 27-yarder that got 15 more added to it due to a penalty. Greer hauled in a 22-yard reception before Hampton burst up the gut for another 2-yard score. The Horns still trailed 14-13 after a blocked PAT but it didn’t dampen their spirits.
The Buffaloes were unable to move the football on their next drive and the Horns took over on offense at the 42.
Arnold continued his hot hand completing 4-of-4 passes that led to a 10-play scoring drive. Troy Arnold had a couple of big runs that netted first down before Hampton’s 9-yard touchdown run that gave the Horns their first lead in the game. His two-point conversion run made it 21-14 with 2:37 remaining in the third quarter.
“We knew we could win this football game and we felt like we were better conditioned than they were,” said fullback Troy Arnold. “We play a lot of people and we’ve got some very good players. Nobody panicked when they got the big lead. We picked up each other and went out and got the win. It was sweet revenge after losing to them last year.”
Sweet revenge for the Horns wasn’t determined until the final play of the game. The Horns clung to their 21-14 lead until their punter and the defense provided the game clincher.
Kimble’s 44-yard punt from near his end zone was a huge play for the Longhorns in the fourth quarter that flipped the field. The biggest one came just a few minutes later.
Johnson County was hit with a pass interference call after Brian McCrary’s 28-yard run that got them within 29 yards of a game tying score. The next play would cause them nightmares.
RJ Snyder’s bone crushing tackle on Daugherty forced a fumble that was scooped up by Hayden “Crazy Legs” Osborne. He took it to the house for a 55-yard yard touchdown run, giving the Horns a 28-14 advantage with 2:48 remaining.
“That’s the first touchdown that I’ve ever scored in my life,” said a smiling Osborne after the game. “I wasn’t going to let anyone catch me. I saw nothing but green grass ahead and I didn’t slow down until I crossed the goal line. This was a big win for us just like the one over Chuckey-Doak. Give West Greene credit because they had a good team and Lane is a great player.”
The Buffaloes showed no quit especially with Lane on the field. He made a remarkable 62-yard catch and run for a TD with 1:53 remaining but the Longhorns recovered the onside kick.
West Greene got the ball back with 19 seconds remaining but couldn’t muster another big play against the Longhorns’ defense. Osborne tackled Lane on the final play of the game.
“I’m glad we got a little payback on them,” said senior center Nate Shepherd who sparked the offensive line. “It feels good to be 5-0 and it feels good to come down here and get a win at their place.”
Hampton ended the night with 75 yards on 16 carries in addition to four catches for 62 yards. Greer added five catches for 50 yards and another 105 yards on three punt returns. It was a stern halftime lecture that changed things according to Greer.
“We got an attitude adjustment from the coaches at halftime,” said Greer. “We came back out and our defense played great and our offensive line took control of the game. Nathan made some great calls at the line and our backs made some big plays. It was great second half effort by everyone.”
Icenhour caught three passes for 40 yards and had a 43-yard punt return. Troy Arnold provided a blue collar effort getting 32 tough yards on 10 attempts. Sophomore Will Henson had an 18-yard reception.
Arnold dazzled the crowd with a superior second half after completing only 4-of-12 passes for 32 yards in the third quarter. He ended the game completing 14-of-23 for 167 yards.
Osborne celebrated his 18th birthday with a whopping 14 tackles, a sack and his dramatic 55-yard TD run. Snyder provided eight tackles including two for losses and his game-winning hit.
“I beat my man off the ball and saw him drop back to throw,” said Snyder. “I hit him hard but I went for the ball too. It felt great to see him lose it and even better when Hayden picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.”
Tyler Norris collected six tackles and a sack, one of five for the Longhorns. Jordan Edes-King also had six stops, two for losses and a sack. Nathan Lane collected four and broke up two passes. Cameron Clawson also celebrated his birthday with five tackles and a sack. Will Kerley was in on four stops and had a pass deflection.
Daugherty completed 12-of-21 passes for 196 yards to compliment Lane’s performance for West Greene.
The Longhorns will enjoy an open date next week before taking on Claiborne County at home September 29.

 

Tim’s Tomahawk Talk – It feels better to be on top

By Tim Chambers

Savor the moment. It’s the best advice that I can give Longhorn football fans five weeks into the season.

Johnson County’s No. 3 ranking in the latest Class 3A poll is the talk of the town among many local residents. Not to be overlooked is the middle school’s 3-0 start in 2017.

Have we suddenly become a football factory? Probably not, but things sure are looking up.

Some fans say that the current schedule is watered down from the teams they’ve played in past years. Gone are Elizabethton and Sullivan South who moved up in classification. Pigeon Forge and Northview Academy are now in Region 2 3A.

Watered down was just what the doctor ordered for a “red hot” Johnson County team. The late Al Davis that owned the Oakland Raiders coined the phrase “just win baby.”

That’s what the 2017 Longhorns are doing.

They whipped Sullivan East soundly to start the season, then took care of Hampton on the road. Close road wins at Chuckey-Doak and West Greene could have gone the other way.

But they didn’t and winning is contagious.

Much of the credit should go to Head Coach Don Kerley and his staff. There is harmony among this group of players and rightfully so.

Nearly everyone gets to play in this system. The Longhorns played 25 people in the first half against West Greene. And those that didn’t get on the field on Friday would likely get a chance in the junior varsity game on Monday.

Athletes today enjoy playing under the Friday night lights. The ones at Johnson County are no different.

Kerley has pushed all the right buttons so far, but just like a Tootsie Roll Pop, the winning streak at some point will disappear.

Let’s enjoy every lick that we can, like the one RJ Snyder delivered on West Greene’s quarterback. Hayden Osborne turned it into a game clinching 56-yard touchdown run.

We might not ever reach No. 1 in the poll the same way that many will never get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.

But let’s enjoy every lick while we can.

Savor the moment.

 

Golf News

The Longhorns didn’t fare well in the regional golf tournament played in Elizabethton on Monday afternoon.

They shot a 429 to finish sixth among the six teams there.

Reece Stout was the Horns’ low medalist with 100. Jaiden Joiner followed with a 101. Gavin Reece shot a 109 and Petie Pavusek a 119 to close out the scoring.

 

Cheerleaders

We will feature our high school, middle school and youth league cheerleaders in next Wednesday’s edition of the Tomahawk. Subscribe today.

Tim Chambers is the sports editor at The Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at tomahawksportseditor@gmail.com

 

 

Johnson County at West Greene game preview

WG’s Julian Lane ran for a TD and threw one against JC last year.

By Tim Chambers

It’s been smooth sailing for the state’s fourth ranked team in Class 3A so far, but things could get a bit tougher on Friday night in Mosheim. Johnson County (4-0) will travel to West Greene (3-1) with sole possession of first place in the conference on the line.
West Greene is coming off an impressive 35-21 victory over South Greene for their third win in a row.
The Buffaloes defeated Claiborne County 21-6 two weeks ago by displaying a strong defensive game. West Greene intercepted four passes and sacked the quarterback three times in the win.
The Longhorns must shut down Julian Lane on offense if they expect to win. His 76-yard kickoff return was the deciding factor in their 14-7 win over Johnson County last year.
He had a 41-yard touchdown run against Claiborne and three interceptions in the game. He rushed for 50 yards and had 53 yards receiving.
Dexter Frye led the ground game with 76 yards. Quarterback Aalick Daugherty threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns. Bryan McCrary caught three passes including one for a TD.
Johnson County head coach Don Kerley is well aware of their key players.
“Julian Lane is one of the best athletes in our league,” said Kerley. “They can move him anywhere and he’ll produce. You have to know where he is because he can take it to the house on any play. But they’ve got some good players besides him and a strong offensive line. They’ll be a tough challenge for us.”
The Buffs only blemish was to Pigeon Forge in a game where they fumbled four times. Kerley knows his team must take care of the football.
“They look a lot like us size wise,” said Kerley. “They don’t have a lot of size but they are very quick and athletic. We have to take care of the football and not turn it over. I feel like that will be a key factor in whoever wins.”
West Greene has yet to encounter an offense like Johnson County’s.
The Longhorns are averaging 31 points per game and giving up just 10.
Linebacker and leading tackler Hayden Osborne believes the Longhorns will be ready.
“We know what this game means and we have to have it to win a conference championship,” said Osborne. “I feel like we play better against better teams. We won’t be overlooking anyone, especially them. They got us at our place last year and a game we should have won. I think we’ll be ready to play against them.”
Kerley hopes the Longhorn nation will show up in big numbers on Friday at Sauceman Field.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

 

Longhorns are still ranked at #4

Johnson County continues to impress the pollsters, holding firm to its No. 4 state ranking this week in the AP’s latest 3-A football poll. The Longhorns have been ranked every week since the polls began after week one.

Longhorns overwhelm Sullivan Central Cougars 55-19

JC’s Nathan Arnold #12 escapes Central’s pass rush

By Tim Chambers

Sullivan Central was hoping to taste victory but Johnson County wasn’t about to let them cook up a win. The Longhorns came up with the perfect recipe that led to their 55-19 win on Friday inside the Paul McEwen Stadium.
A capacity crowd came to cheer on the state’s fourth ranked team in 3-A on Homecoming night. They didn’t disappoint after their slow start.
Central struck first on a 53-yard pass from Jackson Harrison to Hayden Fleenor. Harrison’s 2-yard plunge put Central up 7-0 with less than two minutes gone.
The Longhorns would reel off 20 consecutive points en route to a whopping 41-13 halftime advantage. Head coach Don Kerley was happy with their performance.
“We had a blown assignment on the long pass but the defense played great after that,” said Kerley. “I’m happy for our seniors to go out and win on Homecoming night. We had a lot of kids make big plays and they loved wearing the throwback jerseys. We had a hard time moving their big boy but we did find a way to move the football. I thought Nathan (Arnold) had a big game and so did Bud, Hayden and several others. The offensive line did a good job of pass blocking and Nate made some good reads down the field. We’re happy with the way they played.”
Arnold’s numbers were astounding against the Cougars. He completed 21-28 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns.
His first one came on a 25-yard pass to Icenhour that tied the game at 7-7. A 31-yard interception and run by Jordan Edes-King set up the score.
“Jordan played well, a good all around game,” added Kerley. “He made a big play that turned the momentum in our favor.”
The Longhorns took the lead for good thanks to another great defensive play from senior defensive back Jimmy Bower. His 15-yard interception return to paydirt gave the Horns a 14-7 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
The Longhorns extended their lead to 20-7 on a 22-TD pass from Arnold to Shane Greer. But the Cougars would answer with the help of another big offensive play.
Austin Fleenor scored on a 2-yard run after catching a 35-yard pass from Harrison that set up the score.
It didn’t take long for the Horns to respond with two big plays that produced another touchdown.
Zack Eller’s 50-yard kickoff return gave Johnson County great field position at the Cougars 35. Icenhour took another offering from Arnold on the final 35 yards that extended their lead at 27-13 with 6:03 remaining in the half.
It only got better over the final six minutes of the half.
Arnold hooked up with Gage Hampton for a 9-yard touchdown pass with 2:19 remaining that made it 34-13. The most electrifying play in the game would shortly follow.
Icenhour’s 81-yard punt return for a touchdown came with 40 seconds remaining in the half. The Horns led 41-13 at the break.
“We weren’t about to let them get their first win in three years,” said Arnold. “We wanted to put the game away early. We didn’t want to lose on Homecoming.”

The Longhorns played a smorgasbord of players over the final two quarters but still managed to maintain their large lead.
Central scored on a 9-yard pass from Harrison to Fleenor in the third quarter but they had no answer for the Longhorns’ passing attack.
Arnold and Hampton hooked up for a 43-yard touchdown pass that made it 47-19. They added a safety later in the quarter then Hampton sealed it with a 24-yard touchdown run before the third quarter ended.
Reserves flooded the field during the final quarter for Johnson County.
Arnold’s passing yardage was reflected by the big numbers put up from his receivers.
Icenhour caught six passes from 90 yards and had two touchdowns. Hampton had six receptions for 80 yards and two TDs. Greer caught four balls for 80 yards and a score. Caden Arnold added three catches for 40 yards. Eller had 22-yard reception in addition to his long kickoff return.
“We had so many players step up and make big plays,” added Arnold. “But a lot of the credit should go to our offensive line. I didn’t get touched tonight. They gave me all the time I needed. The receivers did well and it wasn’t just Shane and Bud. Gage had a big game and so did Zack Eller, Caden Arnold and Jared Kimble. It makes my job easier if I can check down and throw to any of these guys. We have a lot of good players on this team.”

Osborne sparked the defense with 15 tackles including three for losses. Tyler Norris added eight tackles and a sack. RJ Snyder had seven stops including a blocked punt and sack. Edes finished with six tackles, an interception and a batted down pass. Bower broke up three pass plays in addition to his TD interception run and three tackles.
“It felt really good to see such a large crowd there to watch us,” said Osborne. “It felt like the whole Johnson County community was there. We came out a little too fired up and gave up a big play but we adjusted after that. Coach told us what we needed to do on the sideline and we fixed it.”
Johnson County faces a huge game on Friday night at West Greene. Osborne knows his team must come ready to play.
“We’ve got to keep our eye toward our goal of winning a conference championship,” added Osborne. “That’s what this game leads up to. They are a good team with a really good player. I have no doubt that we’ll come out ready to play on Friday.

Johnson Co 55, Sullivan Central 19

1st Qtr.
SC—Harrison 2 run (Powell kick) 10:05
JC—Icenhour 25 pass from N. Arnold (Kimble kick) 6:23
2nd Qtr.
JC—Bower 15 interception return (Kimble kick) 11:49
JC—Greer 22 pass from N. Arnold (kick failed) 8:27
SC—Fleenor 2 run (kick blocked) 6:33
JC—Icenhour 35 pass from N. Arnold. (Kimble kick) 6:03
JC—Hampton 9 pass from Arnold (Kimble kick) 2:19
JC—Icenhour 81 punt return (Kimble kick) .40
3rd Quarter
SC—Fleenor 9 pass from Harrison (kick failed) 8:26
JC—Hampton 13 pass from N. Arnold (kick failed) 5:52
JC—Safety Ball snapped out of end zone 4:30
JC—Hampton 24 run (kick failed)
4th Quarter
None

 

Team Stats
SC JC
1st Downs 6 18
Rushing Att./Yds. 23-2 18-93
Passes A/C/I 14-31-3 22-29-0
Passing Yards 160 334
Total Offense 162 427
Fumbles 2-0 0-0
Punts 3-33 0-0
Penalties 10-80 16-133
Individual Stats (Johnson County Only)
Rushing: Hampton 10-70, T. N. Arnold 2-10, T. Arnold 2-9, Kimble 2-6, Webster 2- (-2),
Passing: N. Arnold 21-28-0 332, St. Greer 1-1-0 2
Receiving: Icenhour 6-90, Hampton 6-80, Greer 4-80, Kimble 2-22, C. Arnold 3-40, Eller 1-22
Sacks: Edes-King, Osborne, Norris, Snyder, Clawson
Fumble Recoveries: None
Interceptions: Edes-King, Bower, Lunceford
Tackles (3 or more): Osborne 14, Norris 8, Snyder 7, Edes-King 6, Bower 3, W. Kerley 3, Herman 3, Kimble 2, Clawson 2, Lane 2

 

JCHS Lady Longhorns sweep Unicoi netters

Renie Morrow #17 played her best game as a Lady Longhorn against Unicoi

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County won its second conference match of the season with an impressive victory over Unicoi County. The Lady Longhorns swept the Blue Devils in three straight sets in addition to winning the junior varsity contest.
Head coach Donna Poteet was happy with the wins over Unicoi.
“Renie Morrow had her best game of the season and Courtney Brooks played and served well,” said Poteet. “Shahnoa Greene and Brittney Brooks stood out and led us on defense. Kam Sluder had a solid all around game.”
The junior varsity had a big week knocking off Unicoi County and finishing second in a tournament at Patrick Henry. They beat J.I Burton, Cornerstone Christian, and a very good George Wythe team. They followed that up with a victory over host school Patrick Henry.
The Longhorns ran out of gas against Abingdon in the championship game losing 12-15 in a tiebreaker.
“Natalie Winters played well on defense the whole tournament,” said Poteet. “Taylor Parsons had a strong tournament at the net. Abby Cornett and Taylor Cox had a good all around performance and Hannah Brooks stood out at her setter position.”
Poteet also commended Bella Miller, Sydney Souder, Olivia Dixon and Rhiannon Icenhour for playing well on Saturday. She’s excited about Emily Garr’s return after an injury had sidelined her the entire season.
The varsity lost to Sullivan North on Monday in three straight sets but all the games were close. The Longhorns had defeated the Golden Raiders earlier inside of Ray Shoun Gymnasium.
“We got behind early but fought back,” said Poteet. “I’m proud of our girls because they didn’t quit. We just couldn’t seem to get things going.”

Longhorns golf team makes regional tourney

Reece Stout shot an 89 to lead the Longhorns

By Tim Chambers

ELIZABETHTON—Johnson County’s goal to reach the regional golf tournament became a reality on Monday afternoon. The Longhorns beat out Sullivan North and Happy Valley for the final berth by finishing third in the District 1 small school’s golf tournament played at the Elizabethton Golf Course.
Reece Stout was low medalist for the Longhorns with an 89. Gavin Reece and Jayden Joiner shot 109 each and Petie Pavusek had a 121 to round out their top four scores.
Johnson County finished with a score of 428.
University High edged out Hampton for the boy’s championship 353 to 354.
Mitchell Tolley shot a personal best 79 to lead the Bulldogs. Gavin Hardin had a strong round of 82 and Dru Owens finished with a 94. Izaak Hill closed out the Bulldog’s scoring with a 99.

Daxx Carr led UH with an 87. Charlie Vargo had an 88 with 89’s coming from Sean Hsu and Colin Daniels.
The Bulldogs had a chance to tie on the 18th hole but had a putt lip out.
The Longhorns will now compete in the regional that will be played in Elizabethton on Monday.
“We’re happy to make the regional and still be playing,” said Johnson County’s golf coach Eric Crabtree. “Our goal was to make the regional as a team and we did. We could have made a few more shot but the weather conditions were very favorable today. I’m proud of these guys for all the hard work they put in. We’re looking forward to playing again on Monday.”

The Longhorns didn’t have any players compete on the girls’ side.
NOTE: Ananius Bonin of Chuckey-Doak shot a 4-under 68 to win individual honors. Also qualifying for the regional was Happy Valley’s Luke Deakins, Caleb Lister of Chuckey-Doak and Jacob Cross and Justin Cross of Sullivan North.

 

Youth League Longhorns trip Elizabethton Cyclones 20-19

Kyle Maple #15 scored three TD’s in JC 20-19 win over Elizabethton.

By Tim Chambers

A talented group of 7-8-year-old players from Elizabethton and Johnson County put on a show on Saturday in the stadium where current Dallas Cowboys’ wide receiver Jason Witten played his high school football.
The young Cyclones were hoping to knock off the undefeated Longhorns in Grasscutters play but came up just a little short. Johnson County rode the strong running of Kyle Maple to a hard fought 20-19 victory inside of Brown-Childress Stadium.
The game was a classic from start to finish with the Cyclones in front for most of the first half.
The Cyclones had the football twice inside the 10-yard line but the Longhorns’ defense would stiffen and not allow them in the end zone.
Colton Grindstaff had a big stop on their first drive that stalled their drive at the 12 as did Carter Atwood. Maple and Eli Tester had key tackles on their second drive which fizzled out at the seven.
The Cyclones took an early lead on a 27-yard touchdown run by Janson West. They controlled the football for most of the first half but they had no answer for Maple.
Brycen Blevins had given the Cyclones a 13-0 lead with an 11-yard quarterback keeper to the end zone but it would stick. Maple reeled off touchdown runs of 38 and 15 yards to tie the game at 13-13 on Bryson Kimble’s extra point in the fourth quarter.
The Cyclones wasted no time jumping back on top, getting a 58-yard kickoff return from Sully Perkins to go up 19-13 after the failed PAT.
Maple’s touchdown run of 23 yards and his successful conversion inside the final minute would give the Longhorns a dramatic come from behind victory.
Maples ended the game with 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Carter Atwood and Hunter Paisley had runs for 12 and 11 yards.
Colton Grindstaff led the Longhorn defense with eight tackles. Maples added five; Tester collected four while Atwood and Sawyer Marshall managed three apiece. Rylee Henson and Bryson Kimble were in on two stops. Hunter McElyea and Brandon Dickens added one apiece.
Maples had a pair of sacks. Tester and Grindstaff managed one each.
Perkins had 41 yards rushing to lead the Cyclones. West added 24 and Blevins collected 13.
Evan Chambers led the Cyclones’ defense with six tackles. Hunter Hopson provided five stops in addition to running in their lone extra point. Blevins, Perkins and Nolan Loveday provided three tackles each. Brandon Orellana was in on two.

 

Johnson County Middle School Longhorns ram Happy Valley Junior Warriors

JCMS’ Corie Neely #5 picks runs for a 24 yard gain against HV.

By Tim Chambers

“Make every game count,” is the motto for JCMS’ football team with only five games on its schedule. Mission accomplished on Thursday night atop Warrior Hill.
The Longhorns ran roughshod over Happy Valley 34-12 with Corie Neely and Nate Rice leading the way. Neely ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Rice added 80 yards rushing and a 40-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Brown.
His TD reception came with 19 seconds remaining before halftime after Brown’s hit on a Warrior running back caused him to fumble. Neely secured the loose football like Rice did the TD pass.
“That no doubt was the biggest play in the game,” said JCMS’ head coach Devin Shaw. “It gave us the momentum back after the long run they had on the kickoff. I thought our defense played outstanding in addition to our offensive line. Everyone stepped up and did their part. This was a very good win for us.”
The Longhorns (3-0) compiled 302 yards of total offense while limiting the Warriors to only one offensive touchdown which came with 1:36 remaining in the game.
“Our defense went out and took control of the game,” added Shaw. “They stopped them at the 12 on their first drive and that was huge not letting them get into the end zone. The O-line opened up some big holes for Corie and Nate to run through.”
Shaw was spot on when talking about his line’s play.
They paved the way for the Longhorns’ dynamic duo yet Neely got a good chuck of his yards on second effort. He tallied 49 yards on four carries during Johnson County’s first drive but it stalled at the Warriors’ 18. That wouldn’t be the case over the final three quarters.
John Stout blocked a punt out of the end zone on Happy Valley’s next possession to put the Longhorns up 2-0. Preston Greer’s third down sack plus tackles in the backfield Brown and Rice set up the safety.
The Horns stretched it to 10-0 on Neely’s 13-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion with 2:13 remaining in the half but Happy Valley was quick to answer.
Trey Rutledge took the ensuing kickoff 68 yards to get the Warriors on the board but they trailed 10-6. The Warriors had a chance to go into halftime ahead but fumbled the football after the Horns had turned it over to them at the 50.
The Horns took advantage and snatched back the momentum.
Brown’s 40-yard TD pass to Rice with 19 seconds remaining was a thing of beauty. The dagger came from Neely just moments later after they provided the two-point conversion.
Neely begin the third quarter with runs of 23 and 21 yards that got them inside the 10. He later scored from the 5-yard line to make it 26-6 after his third two-point conversion with 5:30 showing in the third.
The Longhorns tacked on their final score on a 59-yard touchdown run by Rice who provided the conversion run. Zane Jarrels had a big interception that gave the Horns possession near midfield.
“That was Zane’s first interception ever,” added Shaw. “I was very happy for him because he works extra hard in practice. That was one of many big plays we had.”
Icenhour and Rice led the defense with seven tackles each. Stout added six in addition to a sack and his safety. Greer and Neely managed five apiece. Rice, Greer and Shawn Forrester also collected a sack each.
Stout, Forrester, Icenhour, Jacob Phipps, Nick Speed and Greer were singled out by Shaw for the stellar offensive line play.
The Longhorns will play Unaka on Thursday at Harold Arnold Field. Kickoff is set to take place at 6 pm

JCMS 34, HV 12

JCMS 0 18 16 0— 34
HVMS 0 6 0 6— 12

Scoring Summary
2nd Quarter
JC—Stout safety
JC—Neely 13 run (Neely run)
HV—Rutledge 68 kickoff return (pass failed)
JC—Rice 40 pass from Brown (Neely run)
3rd Quarter
JC—Neely 5 run (Neely run)
JC—Rice 59 run (Rice run)
4th Quarter
HV—Garman 2 run (run failed)

JCHS Longhorns nip Chuckey-Doak Black Knights 14-13

JC’s Nathan Lane #4 breaks up a pass intended for C-D’s Trevor Grubb #7.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County played the role of “Daniel” and survived the “lion’s den” on Thursday night against Chuckey-Doak. The Longhorns blocked what would have been a game tying field goal and walked away with a narrow 14-13 conference victory at the Black Hole.
The Longhorns move to #4 in this week’s Class 3-A poll but it wasn’t easy.
Tyler Norris saved the day by getting a hand on Bryan Alvarez’s 33-yard field goal attempt with .48 seconds remaining. It was big way to cap off his monster game that included 14 tackles, three for losses.
“The plan was to get pressure on them and try to block the kick,” said Norris. “I got a good rush and was able to get the job done. We were determined not to let a field goal beat us. We can’t play like this and expect to win. We have to do a better job of executing.”
Norris was right on his assessment.
The Longhorn offense was stagnant from the outset after shooting themselves in the foot on their first drive. Gage Hampton’s 37-yard touchdown run was nullified due to a holding penalty.
“It swung the momentum when the touchdown got called back,” said Kerley. “I would have loved to see us score but we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times. We were fortunate enough to win but hats off to Chuckey-Doak for playing very well. They’re a good football team with some good athletes. They ran the ball good and we left our defense on the field way too long. I’ve always felt if you hold somebody under 21 points then you should win the game. We were 0-3 at this point last year so we’ll take it.”
“The Black Knights had one goal in mind and that was to keep Johnson County from throwing the football. They simply won the battle up front due to the play of Devin Jennings who recorded a game high 17 tackles.

Johnson County’s defense didn’t play shabby either despite spending most of the night on the field. Their heads-up play set up the first score.
Jimmy Bower’s fumble recovery at C-D’s 37-yard gave the Longhorns’ offense new life. Caden Arnold’s 15-yard reception from Nathan Arnold set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Bud Icenhour. Jared Kimble added the PAT giving Johnson County a 7-0 advantage.
Chuckey-Doak looked impressive on their next possession and marched down field with a strong running game before fumbling inside the red zone. R.J. Snyder’s hard hit jarred the ball loose and Hayden Osborne recovered it at the 13.
The offense failed to move the ball and Doak made them pay for it when they got the ball back.
Peyton Fletcher’s 9-yard touchdown run tied the game at 7-7 with 3:55 remaining in the half but the Longhorns answered.
They dipped into their bag of tricks after being unable to move the football and the gamble paid off. Jared Kimble threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Lane off a faked punt to put the Longhorns back in front 14-7 at the half. He nearly didn’t get it off after the snap hit the ground on the way back to him.
”I saw a big old guy coming hard after I picked up the ball,” said Kimble. “Nathan was wide open and he did the rest after I threw it. I’m glad that it helped us pull out the win.”
Lane was confident when his number was called.

“I felt like the play would work when we called it and I knew Jared would get it to me,” said Lane. “I think we surprised them with the call because they weren’t expecting it. There was nothing between me and the end zone. I knew we had a touchdown.”
It was nearly all in vain.
The Black Knights missed two field goals and an extra point. Conner Smith scored on a 2-yard run with 2:20 remaining in the third quarter, but they missed the extra point, allowing Johnson County to remain in front.
Their next drive stalled thanks to Zack Eller’s interception that deflated the boys from Afton for a second time.
“Our defense was trying to change the momentum,” said Eller. “They got the ball deep a few times but we never allowed them to score. But we gave up more yards than we should have.”
Johnson County recorded only two first downs in the second half. The last one came on a 15-yard run by Nathan Arnold that gave them a first down and the win with .22 second remaining.
“We made a few plays when we had to,” added Kerley. “I thought our defense played well and our special teams did too. We’ve got to work on our blocking and not allow them to get penetration and pressure like they did tonight. This wasn’t a pretty win but we’ll take it and learn from it.”
Arnold completed 8-15 passes for 62 yards. The Longhorns were held to only 50 yards rushing in 27 attempts.
Osborne finished the game with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery. Snyder added 10 tackles and a sack. Bower, Will Kerley, Jordan Edes-King and Lance provided six each. Freshman Logan Gilley was in on four.
Long led the Black Knights with 101 yards rushing on 27 carries.
“A win is a win but we’ve definitely got things we need to work on,” said Osborne. “We’ve got to get things clicking again because we know we can play better than we did tonight. I think we took them for granted and it almost cost us. We can’t look past anyone. We’ll definitely be ready to play this week.”

Johnson County 14, Chuckey-Doak 13

Johnson Co. 7 7 0 0 — 14
C.-Doak 0 7 6 0 — 13

1st Qtr.
JC—Icenhour 2 run (Kimble kick)
2nd Qtr.
CD—Fletcher 9 run (Alvarez kick)
JC—Lane 57 pass from Kimble (Kimble kick)
3rd Quarter
CD—Smith 2 run (kick failed)

Team Stats JC C-D
1st Downs 7 11
Rushing Att./Yds. 27-50 42-196
Passes A/C/I 9-16-0 5-9-1
Passing Yards 109 70
Total Offense 159 266
Fumbles 1-0 3-2
Punts 5-32 3-41
Penalties 6-53 10-73

Individual Stats (Johnson County Only)
Rushing: Hampton 8-33, T. Arnold 4-15, N. Arnold 10-(-5), Icenhour 4-6 Kimble 1-1.
Passing: N. Arnold 8-15-0 62, Kimble 1-1-0 57
Receiving: Greer 4-18, Icenhour 1-22, Hampton 3-22, Lane 1-57
Sacks: Edes-Osborne, Norris
Fumble Recoveries: Osborne, Bower
Interceptions: Eller
Tackles (3 or more): Osborne 13, Norris14, Snyder 10, Edes-King 6, Lane 6, W. Kerley 6, Eller 6, Gilley 4

JC C-D
1st Downs 7 11
Rushing Att./Yds. 27-50 42-196
Passes A/C/I 9-16-0 5-9-1
Passing Yards 109 70
Total Offense 159 266
Fumbles 1-0 3-2
Punts 5-32 3-41
Penalties 6-53 10-73
Individual Stats (Johnson County Only)
Rushing: Hampton 8-33, T. Arnold 4-15, N. Arnold 10-(-5), Icenhour 4-6 Kimble 1-1.
Passing: N. Arnold 8-15-0 62, Kimble 1-1-0 57
Receiving: Greer 4-18, Icenhour 1-22, Hampton 3-22, Lane 1-57
Sacks: Edes-Osborne, Norris
Fumble Recoveries: Osborne, Bower
Interceptions: Eller
Tackles (3 or more): Osborne 13, Norris14, Snyder 10, Edes-King 6, Lane 6, W. Kerley 6, Eller 6, Gilley 4

 

Longhorns move up to fourth in 3-A state poll

By Tim Chambers

The late Oakland Raiders owner said it best. “Just win baby.” That’s just what the Longhorns did on Thursday.
An ugly 14-13 victory moved the Horns up two spots to No. 4 in the latest Associated Press Class 3-A football poll. It’s the highest ranking ever for Johnson County who started as the No. 8 team two weeks ago.
Below is a listing of the Class 3-A poll.
The Associated Press’ Top 10 teams in each of Tennessee’s six classes non-financial aid classifications and in the combined Division II financial aid classification as selected by Tennessee AP-member sportswriters and broadcasters.

Class 3A
1. Alcoa
2. Raleigh Egypt
3. Pearl-Cohn
4. Johnson County
5. Milan
6. Austin-East
7. Smith Co 3-0 60 9
8. Bolivar Cntrl
9. Giles County
10. Red Bank

NOTE: Other local teams ranked:
Science Hill 5th (6-A), Daniel Boone 5th (5-A), Greeneville 1st (4-A) Elizabethton 5th (4-A), Happy Valley 10th (2-A), Cloudland 9th (1-A)
All Associated Press members in Tennessee are eligible to participate in the high school football poll. Those who voted for this week’s poll are: The Daily Post-Athenian, Athens; Chattanooga Free Press, Chattanooga; Cleveland Daily Banner, Cleveland; The Tennessean (Nashville), Murfreesboro; State Gazette, Dyersburg; The Jackson Sun, Jackson; Johnson City Press, Johnson City; Marshall County Tribune (Lewisburg); The Daily Times, Maryville; Southern Standard (McMinnville); The Tomahawk (Mountain City), Mountain City; The Commercial Appeal, Memphis; The Mountain Press, Sevierville; Union City Daily Messenger, Union City.

Longhorns won’t look past Sullivan Central Cougars

Hayden Osborne #56 and Bud Icenhour #9 look to tackle Cougars on Friday. 

By Tim Chambers

Don’t expect Johnson County to be “cliff gazing” on Friday against Sullivan Central. The Longhorns found out on Thursday what can happen when you overlook an opponent.
Chuckey-Doak gave the Horns all it wanted and more in a 14-13 loss at the Black Hole. The Longhorns escaped by the skin of their teeth and are trying desperately to get some of their starters well by Friday.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Chuckey-Doak because they played well,” said JCHS’ head coach Don Kerley. “ I commend them because #26 (Isaiah Long) and #20 are two excellent football players. We had some kids that were sick on Thursday and that hurt us a lot. We didn’t seem to play with any enthusiasm and we made too many mistakes early. We got down there deep four times and came away with one touchdown. We helped them out a lot by not executing. We stopped ourselves several times.”
The Longhorns won’t be concerned with crowning a queen on Friday. They’ll try to stay “King of the Hill” after moving up to fourth in the state in Class 3-A this week.
“Everybody is going to give you their best because it’s like having a target on your back,” added Kerley. “You have to have some luck sometimes to win a game or two and we were fortunate last week. I don’t look for that this week against Central. I’m sure our kids will be ready to play.”
The Cougars are 0-2 with losses to Sullivan North and Chuckey-Doak.
The Cougars are led by quarterback Jackson Harrison and wide receiver Parker Mumpower. The duo hooked up for 86 yards on four receptions. He completed 14-27 passes for 127 yards but was only 3-17 against the Black Knights.
“It’s more about us than it is them,” added Kerley. “Last week we got a touchdown called back and then we had to overcome some penalties and a couple of sacks. If we execute the way we should then we have a good shot of winning. I don’t think this team will be overlooking anyone from here on out.”
The Cougars’ defense has given up over 400 yards in the air in two games and has been outscored 50-13 by its opponents.
Johnson County’s offensive line must do a better job of protecting quarterback Nathan Arnold. He was pressured several times at Doak and was forced to throw on several occasions outside the pocket.
The Horns have yet to have a 100-yard rusher in their first three games.
Linebackers Hayden Osborne, Tyler Norris and R.J. Snyder lead the team in tackles. Gage Hampton is the team’s leading rusher and Shane Greer and Bud Icenhour are tops among the receivers.
Game time is set for 7:30 inside Paul McEwen Stadium.

 

Volleyball Longhorns play well despite losses

Senior leaders Shahnoa Greene, Courtney Brooks, Kamryn Sluder and Brittney Brooks have all played well.

By Tim Chambers

The Lady Longhorns have been unable to get a volleyball win since their conference victory over Sullivan North, but they’ve played well at times according to head coach Donna Poteet. It showed in a trio of sets at the Cyclone Invitational.
Johnson County lost to Sullivan South and South Greene 22-25 in a couple of sets. Both teams are always contenders to reach the state tournament so playing them close showed much improvement.

They also dropped a 22-25 set to Morristown East.
“We’ve been able to compete against some very good teams in a set or two, but we can’t put it together for a whole match,” said Poteet. “I’ve watched us play more aggressive and we appear to be getting better each time out. We just have to play with a lot more confidence.”
The Longhorns did show some savvy in a pair of recent matches.
They bounced back to defeat Sullivan South in a set at home before losing 3-1. They also lost to Sullivan Central 3-1, falling in the last set by a slim 23-25 score.
“We’ve had some girls that have stepped up and played well,” said Poteet. “Margaret Morrow has been leading us on the front row and her sister, Renie, has also given us some great play. Taylor Parsons keeps getting better and has really played good on the front line. They have been a huge bright spot for us.”
Poteet was quick to commend her senior quartet of Kamryn Sluder, Courtney Brooks, Brittney Brooks and Shahnoa Greene.
“The seniors have given us some good play and leadership,” added Poteet. “We lean on them a lot to make big plays and we’ve gotten that from them at times.”
Poteet was pleased with the play of sophomores Taylor Cox, Natalie Winters, Abby Cornett and Hannah Brooks in addition to Parsons.
“Those girls keep getting better,” added Poteet. “We moved Hannah up to varsity so we now have five sophomores on the varsity roster. They’re really played well on the junior varsity team and are getting in some during the varsity matches. We’re expecting good things from them.”
The Lady Longhorns will play a make-up game on Wednesday at Chuckey-Doak and at home against Unicoi County on Thursday.
“We’ve been on the road a lot since the season started,” said Poteet. “We’re getting ready to play a big stretch of games at home. Hopefully we’ll play with a lot of confidence when we get back at our place. I know the girls are really looking forward to that.”

 

Johnson County Middle School Horns route Cloudland Highlanders 32-6

JCMS’ Nate Rice #9 carries Cloudland’s Chase Shell #19 for an 11 yard gain.

By Tim Chambers

Johnson County Middle School was chomping at the bit to get their football season underway and they did so with an impressive win over Cloudland on Tuesday. Corie Neely scored three touchdowns and ran for 155 yards in a 32-6 win on Harold Arnold Field.
Neely put the Longhorns up 8-0 with a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and a two-point conversion.
Cloudland battled back to score their lone touchdown with Caleb Sluder doing most of the work. He scored on a 13-yard touchdown run after runs of 22 and 17 yards on the drive.
That didn’t set too well with Johnson County’s head coach Devin Shaw.
“We got a little slack on defense after we scored the first time,” said Shaw. “We challenged them at halftime and they responded in the second half. I thought we came out ready to play. We scored quick and put the game away.”
Neely’s 10-yard touchdown run and conversion before halftime gave them some breathing room before intermission. He drove the dagger in deep to start the third quarter.
“Our goal was to score on the opening drive, then hold them on defense,” added Shaw. “We did a great job of executing the screen pass and our line did a good job of blocking up front.”
They Longhorns scored at the 7:03 mark on a nifty 52-yard screen pass and run from Dalton Brown to Neely. He got an excellent block from Big John Stout that made it 24-6 after another two-point conversion run.
Sammy Walters closed out the scoring late in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run with 2:47 remaining. Brown had a run of 27 yards on a key third and long that kept the drive alive.
Several players stepped up big for the Horns. They got 209 all-purpose yards from Neely in addition to six tackles. Ethan Icenhour led the defense with 10 tackles. Preston Greer and Brown finished the night with seven apiece. Stout logged six tackles as did Nate Rice who also added a sack. Zane Jarrels was in on five stops.
Seth Birchfield rushed for 44 yards to lead the Highlanders. He and Sluder collected six tackles apiece.