JC Youth League proud of season success

October 17, 2018

Pee Wee

Pee Wees

Front Row L to R: Nathaniel Walker, Ashton Dollar. Middle Row: Braden Cornett, Gauge Stout, Sheldon Kirby,Luke Worlock, Jack Csillag, Nate Dorman. Back Row: Trinity Fortener,Micah Lunsford, Aiden Fredell ,Gabe Dugger,Drake Dugger, Hunter Taylor, Kyle Sluder, Noah Brown. Coaches: Brian Dollar, Jake Dorman, Travis Brown, Chris Cornett and Jamie Lundy. Not pictured Michael Davis and Nathaniel Hodge


Mighty Mites

Mighty Mites

Front Row L-R: Grayson Hensley, Corbin Dugger, Tanner Hampton, Troy Reece, Carter Stout and Colton Rich. 2nd Row L-R: Aiden Roush, Solomon Hurley, Hunter Stanley, Landon Poore, Brylan Walton and Hayden Isaacs. Back Row L to R: Caden Woodard, Mason Luckett, Azik Landeros, Ethan Wilson, Sylas Reece, Mason Gregg and Masyn Allen.Not pictured: Coaches Josh Allen, Joey Luckett, Danny Hensley, Andrew Hensley, Cliff Tressler, Bobby Webb and Travis Gregg.

Jr. Pee Wee

Jr. Pee Wees

Front row, L-R: Carter Atwood, Juan Mejia, Kyle Maple, Brayden Dickens, Andrew Long, Eli tester, Riley Henson, Colton Grindstaff, Jayden Kimble,Dylan Blevins, Sam Cretsinger and Christopher Canter. Back row left to right: Josh Potter, Darren Chappell, Aaron Ferguson, Dalton Ward, Gunner Hutchins, Ben Reece, Hunter Paisley, Carson Jennings, Kaden Blevins. Coaches are Austin Atwood, Anthony Barry, Jason Blevins, Nathan Paisley and Charlie Jennings. Not pictured:Ethan Smith

Grass Cutters

Grass cutters

Front Row L to R: Kingston Mills, Hunter McElyea, Bentley Forrester, Gianni Guizzotti, Connor Stout and Sawyer Marshall. Back Row: K.K. Beard, Bryson Kimble, Avery Blevins, Reece Bulliner, Adam Roush, Trevor McCloud and Aaron Madrey. Coaches: Kevin Blevins, Craig McElyea, Jason Mills. Not pictured Coach Matthew Stout.

Longhorns hoping for a happy encore

October 17, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

Thirty years ago the 1988 Longhorns were embarking on a great season and ended up losing to state powerhouse Alcoa in the second round of the playoffs. Could history repeat itself in 2018? The thoughts of duplicating last year’s 10-0 regular season record in No.3 state ranking seemed only an afterthought for this year’s squad. It’s hard trying to replace 20 seniors that all contributed to breaking the school record for the most wins in a season and fewest losses. But the 2018 Longhorns took an entirely different approach to getting back to last year where they were. They wanted to make a name for themselves. Those were comments that have been given to me at various times throughout the season. I kept them in my secret stash until I felt like the time was right to share. And that time appears to be now.

Tyler Norris was an All-Conference performer in 2017 at linebacker. He feels like he’s had the best of both worlds.

“It was fun playing on last year’s team and doing all the things that we did. We did something that no other team had done in football and went undefeated during the regular season. But this year’ team wanted to do something special too. Nobody gave us much of a chance to repeat as conference champions, so that’s something we want to do. We would like to host another first-round playoff game. That’s something that all of us have talked about.”

Norris and his teammates no longer need to talk about it. They’ll play a first-round home game in three weeks and can win the conference championship if they can defeat Unicoi County on the road week.

Blake Atwood Watch
Johnson County senior Blake Atwood is making the most of his basketball opportunities so far. Atwood has established himself as one of the top players in the Pilot Rocky Top League and also as a member of the Tennessee Fury AAU basketball team. He is currently playing with and against some of the top Division One players across the state and is averaging over 20 points per contest. See next Wednesday’s Tomahawk for a complete story on Atwood and his basketball adventures over the past several months.

Longhorns move up two spots to No. 5
Johnson County got plenty of respect from the sportswriters in this week’s state football rankings. The Longhorns are currently No.5 this week after spending the last two weeks at No.7 in the poll.
The Longhorns’ next two opponents, Cloudland and Unicoi County also make the polls.
The Highlanders stayed at No.6 in the Class 1A poll. The Blue Devils cracked the top 10 as the No. 10 team for the first time this season. Here are the rankings for Class 3A
Associated Press Class 3A State Football Rankings

Longhorns to face talented Landers

October 17, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

Johnson County will get a stern test on Friday when they travel to John Orr Field to face Cloudland. The Highlanders (7-1) are currently ranked No. 6 in the latest AP Class 1A poll and would love nothing better than to knock off the Longhorns who moved up to No.5 in this week’s Class 3A poll. The Highlanders are coming off a 54-12 away-game win over Jellico while Johnson County destroyed North Greene 57-0 on Friday.

The Highlanders lost to Gatlinburg-Pittman 20-6 in the season opener but have since reeled off eight consecutive wins. Johnson County (7-1) has reeled off six straight wins after losing to Hampton 20-19 in the second game of the season. Both teams have changed a lot of things up since their first loss. The Highlanders are averaging 40 points per game of offense while the defense had held the opposition to 10 points per contest. Johnson County has given up 11 points per game while averaging 33 points per game on offense.

Head coach Don Kerley knows his team is in for a battle. He likes the idea of playing the Highlanders on the road.
“Cloudland has a good football team, and Jordan Coffey is for real,” said Kerley. He’s a good running back, but they have several other good players. We’re going to be challenged on defense trying to stop them, and we’re going to have to score some points. This game is going to have a playoff atmosphere. We know it’s going to be a challenge.”

Coffey is the main cog who brews the Highlanders’ offense. He has scored 16 touchdowns on the season and eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark against Jellico last Friday. But Coffey isn’t the only straw that stirs the drink.
Conner Birchfield has played well in the backfield along with quarterback Malachi Benfield. Benfield threw four touchdown passes against Jellico that included ones of 55 and 28 yards to Triston Lacy and another one to Josh Blair that covered 20 yards.

K.J. Arnold leads the defense along with linebackers Dillon Johnson and Blair. Lacy had a 49-yard interception return against Jellico. Johnson also caught a touchdown pass.

“They’ve got some good football players, but they all play both ways,” said Kerley. “We’re hoping that our depth can wear them down when we get late in the game.”

The Longhorns have its share of big-play threats too. Nathan Lane is one of the leading scorers in Northeast Tennessee with 21 touchdowns. Tyler Norris leads Northeast Tennessee in tackles and tackles for losses. Weston Throop has come on to be one of the big play guys on the defensive side. He has scored three touchdowns, and all have come on the defensive side. Troy Arnold had thrown for 641 yards and ran for nearly 400. Zack Eller had four interceptions and four touchdown receptions of 50 yards plus.

“It’s always a battle when we play one another,” added Kerley. “They are always well coached, and they want to beat us because we’re a bigger school. We need to limit our mistakes and not turn the ball over. Our kids are looking forward to the challenge.

The Longhorns won last year’s contest 30-16 on Harold Arnold Field. Kickoff is set to take place at 7:30 pm in Roan Mountain.

Youth football season winding down

October 17, 2018

hunter paisley scores

JC’s Hunter Paisley scores on a 25 yard touchdown run against Cloudland.
Paisley played well in their 28-0 win.

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

Johnson County played its final regular season youth football games on Saturday with the Junior Pee Wee team logging the only victory. Coach Austin Atwood’s squad shut out Cloudland 28-0 while the Mighty Mites and Grass-Cutters lost to Cloudland by identical scores of 19-6.

Colten Grindstaff after intercepting the ball

JC’s Colton Grindstaff make a good run after intercepting a pass against Cloudland. The Longhorns Junior Pee Wee team won the game 28-0. Photos by Tameula Trivett.

Junior Pee Wee
Johnson County 28
Cloudland 0

The Longhorns scored all their points in the first half and never had the ball in the second one due to the 28-point mercy rule. Several players stood out for the Longhorns on both sides of the football. Carson Jennings had a 20-yard touchdown run and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Juan Mejia. Hunter Paisley got in on the scoring act with a 25-yard touchdown run. Carter Atwood had the other touchdown on a five yard plunge.

Kaden Blevins and Kyle Maple had a couple of long runs in the backfield for the Johnson County that racked up over 200 yards rushing.Mejia sparked the defense with 11 tackles. Atwood provided six tackles. Christopher Thomas collected 25 yards rushing and had a fumble recovery. Eli Tester, Colton Grindstaff and Sam Cretsinger were stellar performers on both sides of the football.

Cloudland 19
Johnson County 6

Both teams were playing for a final playoff berth with the Highlanders coming out on top.The Longhorns lone score came on a 50-yard touchdown pass and run by Bryson Kimble from Avery Blevins. The try for the extra point failed.
Hunter McElyea led the Horns in rushing with 55 yards. Sawyer Marshall led the defense with eight tackles. McElyea provided four stops and Trevor McCloud was in on three.

Mighty Mites
Cloudland 19
Johnson County 6

The Little Longhorns ran up and down the field the entire game but had only one touchdown to show for it. Mason Luckett had their only touchdown on a 25 yard run. He ended the game with 100 yards rushing on six carries. Grayson Hensley rushed for 225 yards on 12 carries but was kept out of the end zone. Hensley and Masyn Allen led the defense with four tackles apiece and a pair of sacks. Ethan Wilson was in on three stops as was Luckett. Brylan Walton and Mason Gregg also had a tackle each. The Grass-cutters and Junior Pee Wee teams took part in a bowl at Abingdon on Tuesday. We will have results from both games in next Wednesday’s edition of the Tomahawk.

NOTE: The Pee Wee team forfeited their last game due to not having enough players.

Unsung heroes enjoy Senior Night

October 17, 2018

JC honored these 11 senior football players on Friday. Front Row, L-R: A.J. Blevins, Christian Krupsky, Lance King and Noah Cox. Back Row, L-R: Tyler Norris, Aric Neely, Tyler Phillips, Weston Throop, Nathan Lane, Zack Eller, and Troy Arnold. Photo by Tameula Trivett

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

So far the Longhorns have stayed afloat over the first eight games of the 2018 football season. Some have predicted their life raft will capsize before the season ends. I instead choose to tip my hat to them because this group of seniors has given a remarkable ride. And I not ready to grab a life jacket just yet. The Longhorns had 20 holes to plug created by 20 graduating senior players from the record-setting 2017 squad. But somehow they managed to do it.
Going down this year’s lineup is like going through the buffet line at your favorite restaurant. You get a little bit of everything in several different varieties. Every class is represented in the starting lineup including the freshman and sophomore ones. And just like last year, they have some talented senior playmakers on the team.

Tyler Norris is the leading tackler in Northeast Tennessee and definitely one of the top linebackers. He might be one heck of a fullback too if called on to play that position. T-Dog can do it all. Nathan Lane is one of the leading scorers in Northeast Tennessee and maybe the fastest. Lane is a dual threat at running and catching the football and ranks as one of the best special team players too. Zach Eller has electrified the crowd with some long touchdown receptions and kickoff returns. He also has four interceptions as a defensive back.

And then there is quarterback Troy Arnold.Arnold’s frame looks more like a punishing fullback where he played at in 2017, but he’s had a good year as the team’s signal-caller. He’s a threat to get you the tough yards needed up the middle and has thrown the ball well when given time. Christian Krupsky has undoubtedly emerged as one of the league’s top lineman and has been a starter for three seasons. Credit the Longhorn’s quintet for keeping the Horns in the hunt and having them ranked in the AP 3A poll for every week in 2018.

Let’s also credit six more seniors who go out and practice every day without a lot of fanfare. They too deserve to be recognized. Weston Throop has been the ace in the hole for Kerley’s Longhorns. He continues to make big plays for the defense. He had a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a 55-yard interception return for a TD on Senior Night. He also had a 75-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown against Claiborne County.

“It’s been a blast for me,” said Throop about this season. “Our defense and offense are always going at one another. I didn’t play last year so getting into the playoff and hosting a first-round game is very special.”

Special would be the best way to describe Throop’s play. Tyler Phillips, like Throop, did not play last year. He too has been a starter on the defense.

“It’s meant a lot for me to get out here with all the seniors and get to play,” said Phillips. “We’ve all grown up together so getting a chance to be on the field with them is very special. I’m glad to be a part of this playoff team and bring something exciting for our town. I believe that we are a team that cannot be underestimated. We play hard and believe in ourselves.”

Aric Neely is just like Throop and Phillips. He didn’t play last season but earned a starting role at wide receiver.
“This is my first year of playing, so it definitely means a lot to me,’ said Neely. “I wish that I had started playing a little earlier. Football has made me a better person, and I’ve enjoyed being around all the players and coaches. We still have some things to work on and a lot to play for. I want to be playing well going into the playoffs.”

The Longhorns have also been blessed with some key role players who have contributed to their success.
Noah Cox and A.J. Blevins are two of those type players. Cox just missed making the state tournament in tennis this past spring.

“I’ve enjoyed getting out here and playing in front of all our fans,” said Cox. “I appreciate all of them for coming out here every Friday. Tonight is bittersweet because this is my last regular season home game. I’ve loved every minute of being a Longhorn.”

Blevins echoed those same sentiments.

“Getting to play on this team has meant everything to me,” said Blevins. “I’ve enjoyed getting to compete and working with all of my coaches and teammates. It’s something that I’ll always remember.”

And then you have the fan favorite Lance King. The senior reserve can always be found on the sideline trying to pump up the crowd. King got to start his first high school game ever on Friday. He smiled when telling me what it felt like.

“I was excited but nervous about being called out as a starter,” said King. “That was my first start ever. I got a tackle tonight, and there wasn’t anything that dude could do about it. He didn’t have a chance.” King added. “I want to thank “Daddy Dunn” and “Uncle Randy” for making me a football player. I would be where I am at if it wasn’t for those two.

Neither would the Longhorns without their elite 11 seniors.

Longhorns mush past Huskies

October 17, 2018

JC’s Weston Throop (23) returns an interception 55 yards for a touchdown. Throop scored 2 TD’s in their 57-0 win. Photos by Tameula Trivett

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

The Husky dogs couldn’t mush against the No. 7 ranked Longhorns on Friday night inside of Paul McEwen Stadium. Johnson County’s defense dominated play by scoring five defensive touchdowns in their 57-0 blowout win over North Greene. The Longhorns will now host a first-round home playoff game for the second consecutive year. They’ll play for the conference championship on the road against Unicoi County in two weeks. The overmatched Huskies were clearly outmanned against the much deeper and talented Longhorns. The Huskies trailed 18-0 early in the first quarter and the Longhorns had run only one offensive play.

Head coach Don Kerley praised his senior players.

“They’ve won a lot of football games for us,” said Kerley about the seniors. “They have come out here and worked hard and did all the things we’ve asked of them and they know how to play. We’ll be challenged in our next three games because everyone we play is good. I’m proud of our coaching staff for all their hard work, and you can’t say enough about the kids. It was good that everyone got to play tonight on our last regular season game.”

The Longhorns would have the game well in hand before the first quarter had expired. They led 31-0 after one and extended their advantage to 45-0 by halftime. Touchdowns came in a variety of ways including a quintet of them scored by the defense. North Greene’s first offensive series would set the tone for the game. They were forced to punt and fumbled the ball inside the red zone which was recovered by Johnson County’s Weston Throop. From there they would score on their first offensive play.

Stacy Greer found the end zone from 12 yards out giving the Horns a 6-0 advantage with only one minute gone in the game. That led to several North Greene miscues that were converted into points by the Horns. Throop recovered his second fumble of the game inside the end zone for the first defensive touchdown to up the ante at 12-0. He felt like it was important for them to get off to a good start.

“We didn’t want to let them hang around,” said Throop. “We wanted to be playing well going into our next two games.”

Nate Rice laid a jarring hit to North Greene’s quarterback causing another fumble at the 10. Colt Moody picked up and scored from there to increase their lead at 18-0. Johnson County would add two more touchdowns before the first quarter ended. Nathan Lane provided them a 10 yard TD run then hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Troy Arnold with 1:10 remaining in the first quarter. They would expand on their 31-0 advantage in the second quarter.

North Greene tried to move the football in the second quarter but continued to make mistakes. They turned Harold Arnold Field into a sea of turnovers. Troop scored his second defensive touchdown of the game by picking off a pass and running it back 55 yards for a score. The next defensive touchdown came after a massive hit by Tyler Norris on the Huskies’ quarterback that caused a fumble and sent him to the sidelines. Tyler Phillips picked up the loose football and returned it 51 yards for another score. Tyrone McFadden kicked a pair of extra points putting the Horns up 45-0 at the half.

The Longhorns begin the second half just like they ended the first one. Norris logged the last defensive touchdown by intercepting a pass and taking it back to the house 81 yards for a score. Their final touchdown came on a two-yard run by Sam Mann whose 39-yard run set up that score. The eye-popping numbers didn’t happen on this night due to limited playing time for the Longhorn starters. Mann led the ground game with 48 yards on six carries. Troy Arnold attempted only two passes, one to Lane for a touchdown.

Norris did collect 12 tackles; eight came in the second quarter to go along with his touchdown interception return. Throop gathered eight tackles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception to go along with his two defensive touchdowns. Ethan Icenhour, Sammy Walters, Gavin Wilson, and Ethan Woody collected four tackles apiece. Colton Story led Huskies’ ground game with 45 yards on 15 carries. Tyler Sanches finished with 27 yards on four rushes. The Huskies were sacked three times on pass attempts and threw three interceptions. They were also tackled behind the line of scrimmage eight times.Brandon Mercer and JC Staton and Story had four tackles each to lead the defense. Jan Sauceman had a 22-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Sky Arwood contributed a 12-yard run.

“That’s a good football team that we played,” said North Greene’s head coach Andrew Murray. “There is a reason they are ranked like they are and their record is what it is. That’s somewhere we would like to be in the future.
The Longhorns (7-1) will travel to Roan Mountain on Friday to take on Cloudland (7-1), ranked No. 6 in Class 1A.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

North Greene 0 0 0 0 – 0
Johnson Co. 31 14 6 6 -57

JC’s Nate Rice (20) sacks NG’s Damitrus Kea and causes a fumble that was returned by Colt Moody for a touchdown.

Scorning Summary:
1st Quarter

JC—Greer 19 run (run failed) 11:00
JC—Throop recovers fumble in end zone (kick failed) 9:10
JC—Colton Moody 10 yards fumble return (kick failed) 8:48
JC—Lane 10 run (McFadden kick) 1:50
JC—Lane 25 pass from Arnold (McFadden kick) 1:10

2nd Quarter
JC—Throop 55 interception return (Kimble kick) 6:10
JC—Phillips 51 fumble return (Kimble kick) 1:27

3rd Quarter
JC—Norris 81 interception return (kick failed) 1:50

4th Quarter
JC—Mann 2 run (kick failed) 3:30

Team Stats
1st Downs 5 7
Rushing yards 32-63 20-110
Passes A/C/I 4-10-2 1-4-0
Passing Yards 42 25
Total Offense 105 135
Fumbles 5-4 0-0
Punts 2-20 0-0
Penalties 4-20 2-15

Individual Stats:
Rushing: JC— Lane 6-22, Greer 2-7, Lowe 1-0, Arnold 1-20, Neely 3-5, Mann 6-48, Kimble 1-6. NG—Story 15-45, Sanches 4-27, Staton 7-(minus 5), Kea 5-(minus 14), Arwood 1-9,
Passing: JC—Arnold 1-2- 25, Kimble 0-2-0 0. NG—Kiker 4-10-2 42
Receiving: JC—Lane 1-25. NG—Kea 2-14, Staton 1-22, Arwood 1-6
Sacks: JC—Norris, Troop, Rice. NG—None
Fumble Recoveries: JC—Troop 2, Moody, Lowe. NG—None
Interceptions—JC—Norris, Throop,
Tackles (4 or more): Johnson County only—Norris 12, Throop 8, Icenhour 4, Walters 4, Wilson 4, Woody 4. NG—Mercer 4, Staton 4, Story 4.

Youth League Football roundup

C’s Bryson Kimble gets loose for a long touchdown run versus Hampton. The Longhorns Mighty Mites won 40-18.

By Tim Chamber

Sports Editor

It was a great Saturday for three Johnson County youth league football teams. The Longhorns swept past Hampton in three games while the Pee Wee team played hard but fell to a superior Happy Valley squad.

Mighty Mites
Johnson County 40
Hampton 18
The Longhorns had seven rushes and scored six times against the outmanned Bulldogs.
Mason Luckett had touchdown runs of 62 and 40 yards. Grayson Hensley added a 41-yard touchdown run. Masyn Allen and Brayden Wallen tacked on TD runs of 35 and 65 yards. Hayden Isaac
also had a 65-yard touchdown run.
Landon Poore led the defense with six tackles. Hunter Stanley and Allen added three tackles apiece. Mason Grey, Hensley and Ethan Isaacs provided two apiece.

Junior Pee Wee
Johnson County 28
Hampton 0
The junior pee wee team had a big day on defense by pitching a shutout against the Bulldogs.
Caden Blevins had touchdown runs of 17, 15 and 27 yards to lead the way. Chris Thomas returned a kickoff 70 yards for the other touchdown. Juan Mejia kicked a pair of extra points to close out the scoring.
Blevins rushed for 100 yards on the day. Carson Jennings added 25 as did Thomas. Carter Atwood collected 30 in the game.
Atwood also hooked up with Jennings on a 25-yard pass completion.
Mejia led the defense with six tackles. Kyle Maple, Riley Henson, and Colton Grindstaff provided three each. Blevins, Atwood, Jennings and Andrew Long each logged two stops.

Johnson County 25
Hampton 6
The Longhorns got touchdown runs by four different players to defeat the Bulldogs in the second game of the day.
Avery Blevins had an 18 yards TD run to get them on the board. K.K. Beard followed with a 39-yard touchdown jaunt.
Sawyer Marshall helped the cause with a 37-yard touchdown run while Hunter McElyea was able to gallop 52 yards for the final one.
Marshall rushed for 75 yards to lead the Longhorns. Blevins added 70 yards while Beard and McElyea provided 50 each. Bryson Kimble helped the cause with 30 yards and also caught a conversion pass from Blevins. Connor Stout had a 10-yard run.
McElyea led the defense with seven tackles. Kimble and Marshall contributed four apiece. Blevins, Stout, Beard, Trevor McCloud, and Kingston Mills got in on two each. Bentley Forrester, Daniel Yax, and Aaron Madrey each had a solo tackle.

Pee Wee
Happy Valley 31
Johnson County 0
The Longhorns trailed by only 7-0 the half but run out of season during the final two quarters due to very few players on the bench.
Jack Csillag led the team in tackles with eight. Nate Dorman added six tackles and a sack. Gage Stout provided five tackles, three for losses.
Kyle Sluder amassed a good all-around game with seven tackles, and three sacks. He also rushed for 60 yards.
Hunter Walker had a fumble recovery. Luke Warlock provided 40 yards on the ground.

JCMS netters close season

JCMS’ Peyton Gentry, Ryleigh Icenhour, and Hannah Fritts were named to the MS volleyball All-Conference Team. They finished 2nd in league play and third in the tournament. Photo contributed.

By Tim Chambers

Sports Editor

The varsity middle school volleyball team took part in their conference tournament on September 29 and came away with a third-place finish. They avenged an earlier regular season loss to Providence Academy by bouncing them from the tournament in a three-set match 22-25, 29-27 and 15-10 at Cedar View Christian School.
Ryleigh Icenhour had a big game with 12 serve points that helped them reach
the finals of the winner’s bracket.
This time the news wasn’t good as they were swept in back-to-back sets KAVHEA 19-25 and 19-25.
Icenhour once again topped the serve points with nine.
They later took on Providence for a season time later that afternoon but lost in three sets 17-25, 25-23 and 4-15.
Kayla Sluder led the team in serve points with seven.
“The girls all played so hard that day and throughout the season,” said head volleyball coach Dottie Phipps. “We are very proud of both of our teams for an awesome season this year!”
Peyton Gentry, Ryleigh Icenhour, and Hannah Fritts were named to the All-Conference team for the varsity.

Junior Varsity
The junior varsity lost in the first match of the tournament to KACHEA 22-25, 25-19 and 15-17. The tournament was single elimination.
Phipps commented about the match.
“It was a tough match, but our girls all played hard,” said Phipps. “They did well for the season, and we’re very proud of them.”
The Lady Longhorns finished second during the regular season.
The lost their final regular season game against Providence 25-16 and 25-23.
Icenhour and Peyton Gentry had four serve points each in the match. The junior varsity won by a score of 25-21 and 25-10.
Sami Csillag led the charge with 15 serve points.
The eighth grade team finished 5-3. The junior varsity compiled a 6-2 mark.

Bluff City eliminates Johnson County Middle School

JCMS Head Coach Devin Shaw gives information to his team before the opening kickoff against Bluff City. The Longhorns were eliminated from the playoff by the Grizzlies. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Sports Editor

BLUFF CITY—Johnson County has been a dominant force in middle school football for nearly a decade. This year they fielded one of its youngest teams ever and barely made the playoffs.
The Longhorns were defeated soundly by Bluff City on Monday 42-0 at Sullivan East High School in the first round of the middle school football playoffs. The Grizzlies scored early and often in the lopsided affair.
Johnson County had seven seventh graders starting on offense and defense. Head coach Devin Shaw felt like they got better every game.
“Many of our kids haven’t played football in two years because they didn’t have a youth league team for their age,” said Shaw. “They played hard tonight against a very good and talented team. I thought we moved the ball some and our kids played hard. They’ll be much better next year. Getting to the playoffs really helped because every game we got to play was a plus.”
Shaw was correct on his assessment.
The Junior High Longhorns played only five regular season games after three more were canceled by out of state teams. `They managed to knock off Happy Valley and took Hampton who won the league down to the wire but was no match for the talented Grizzlies.
Bluff City’s Dominic Cross picked off a Johnson County pass on the first play of the game and ran it back 55 yards for a touchdown. Gavin Patrick ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The Horns threatened to tie the game on their next possession after putting together a 51-yard drive. Isaiah Willis reeled off runs of 27 and 15 yards while Grinnan Walker provided a couple of carries that netted 14.
The Horns had the ball on the 14-yard line but fumbled giving possession back to Bluff City. It was all downhill from there.
Gavin Patrick would find the end zone on a long 52-yard run giving them a 16-0 advantage.
The Grizzlies (8-1) would add a 71 touchdown run by Jacob White and seven-yard pass from Patrick to Cross to go up 30-0 at the half. They would add a pair of scores over the final two quarters.
There were a few bright spots for Johnson County Middle.
Chad Morefield caught two passes from Walker that totaled 45 yards. Isaiah Wills ended the night with 73 yards rushing.
Connor Simcox and Chase Muncy had four tackles each for the Longhorns. Willis, Hank Sauer, Zennia Bouchelle and Tyler Bouchelle were in on three apiece.
“It’s a big step to go from not playing to competing against quality teams,” added Shaw. “We didn’t win a lot of games, but the kids learned a lot. They played hard and never gave up. I’m proud of them for that.”

Tomahawk Talk: Longhorns can take Huskies for granted

JC’s Stacy Greer goes for a nice gain against Happy Valley. Greer threw 2 TD passes to Corie Neely in their
20-0 junior varsity win. Photo by Tameula Trivett

By Tim Chambers

Sports Editor

One of the most repeated quotes used by players and coaches are “we can’t take anyone from granted.” That might not be the case on Friday night when North Greene invades Paul McEwen Stadium.
The Huskies are currently 0-7 on the year, and have been outscored by their opposition 311 to 42.
So how does Johnson County’s head coach Don Kerley get his team up and ready to play one of the state’s worst teams? The answer is simple.
Johnson County will be at home for the first round of the playoffs if they can win on Friday. That makes the game the most important one they’ve played so far.
Kerley said it best after Friday’s win over Happy Valley about the North Greene game. “It’s a must win for us.”
Indeed it is but who’s buying it?
Johnson County’s Nathan Lane has scored more touchdowns on the season than North Greene’s total point output. The Huskies are riding a 17-game losing streak.
The Huskies’ last win came against Unaka 26-14 in their season opener last year. It might be that long before they taste victory again.
It is very important that the Longhorns escape this contest injury free. Jared Kimble tore his ACL in the Longhorns’ 54-8 victory last year and was lost for the season. That’s why the Horns need to score early and often.
Kickoff is set to take place at 7:30 pm on Friday. I hope there is plenty of good tailgating food.
I can’t even take that for granted.

Junior Varsity wins
Johnson County continued their winning ways by defeating Happy Valley 20-0 on Monday.
The game was deadlocked 0-0 at the half, but the Horns came up with 20 unanswered points over the final two quarters.
The first score came on a 63-yard pass reception by Corie Neely from Stacy Greer. They also hooked up on the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The dynamic duo added
a second touchdown
on a 20-yard pass and reception.
Neely scored his third touchdown of the game on a five-yard run with 1:58 remaining in the game. He ended the night with 60 yards rushing and 90 yards receiving.
Greer added 55 yards on the ground and threw for 110 more.
Ethan Woody led the defense with nine tackles. Ethan Icenhour chipped in with seven.

Horns eliminated by Central

JC’s Taylor Parsons (24) collected five kills and two aces against Sullivan Central. The Longhorns played
well but were eliminated in four sets. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers

Sports Editor

BLUFF CITY—The Lady Longhorns volleyball team played well in the early going against No. 3 seed Sullivan Central but couldn’t maintain over a four-game set. The Longhorns were eliminated from the tournament by scores of 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 and 25-10 at Sullivan East High School on Tuesday.
Johnson County head coach Donna Poteet saw her team make a lot of progress over the final two weeks. They lost to second place Elizabethton by a close score on Monday and managed to knock off Central in the second set the following evening.
“We got behind early in the first set but bounced back and played well to get back in it,” said Poteet. “We carried that over into the second set. I felt like we did a lot of good things during the match but we couldn’t maintain it late in the third set. We got behind and started to unravel.”
The Longhorns feel behind 9-0 in the first set before they would score their first point. They managed to pull close and trail by only three, but Central was able to pull away at the end.
That wasn’t the case in the second set. Kills by Renie Morrow, Taylor Parsons and Taylor Cox set the stage for what probably proved to be their best set played during the season.
Natalie Winters had a pair of digs that saved serve which led to points and Cox set up Renie Morrow for a kill shot. The Longhorns won that set 25-20.
The Horns started slow in the third set but managed to stay in the game. Central pulled away late in the set to win 25-14 then dominated the fourth and final set.
Senior Renie Morrow ended her career on a good note by racking up eight kills. Taylor Parsons added five kills and two aces. Taylor Cox played well as a setter and added three kills and three aces. Natalie Winters collected 11 digs and had several good saves on the backline.
“Winters was all over the court, and she played so hard,” added Poteet. “Parsons and Cox played well around the net, and both had a good game and so did Renie.”
Seniors Margaret Morrow, Kaylee Wittenberg, and Bella Miller played their last game on the volleyball court as a Lady Longhorns. Poteet praised their efforts.
“They’ve done a lot of good things for our team,” said Poteet. “Margaret has played well on the front line, and Kaylee and Bella have provided us some good defensive play and done well as setters. We won 12 games this year, and that’s the most in quite some time. All four of our seniors played a big role in that. We’ve got six juniors and some good sophomores returning next season. I honestly think they’ll be pretty good because they mesh well together.”
Johnson County finished the season at 12-18.


Longhorns hammer Happy Valley

Longhorns juniors Curtis Lowe (2), Andrew Fugger (45) and Jamal Scott (55) ready to take on their rivals under the Friday night-lights. Photo By Tamas Mondovics


By Tim Chambers

Sports Editor

Happy Valley’s quest to erase last year’s loss to Johnson County failed on Friday inside of Paul McEwen Stadium. The No. 7 state-ranked Longhorns dominated play from start to finish in their 28-7 victory over the Warriors.
Happy Valley had lost to the Horns 14-7 last year in a game where both teams were state ranked. That wasn’t the case for the visitors on this night.
The Warriors (2-4) lost their starting quarterback Will Tittle for the season just a few weeks ago
but did have a signature 27-13 win over Unicoi County earlier this season.

Bad luck would plague the Valley on their opening possession.
The Warriors started at the 20 and lost nine yards on their first play. They were forced to punt from their end zone where they mishandled the snap. Curtis Lowe pounced on the football giving the Horns a 6-0 advantage.
Head coach Don Kerley felt like that getting off to a good start helped his squad. He praised his seniors for their outstanding play.
“Our seniors stepped up and made some big plays, and that
allowed us the opportunity to
win the way we did,” said Kerley. “I was pleased with the way our receivers caught the ball especially Zack Eller. You can’t say enough about how well Nathan Lane and Tyler Norris played, so did the
rest of our seniors. It’s always big when you beat Happy Valley because they are well coached and they all play hard. Our underclassmen also stepped up and did a good job too.”
The Warriors had trouble moving the football against the Longhorns, but they did have a couple of scoring opportunities.
They failed to convert on a 29-yard field goal attempt and managed only 40 yards of total offense by halftime.

The Longhorns took to the air that led to their second touchdown.
Zack Eller hauled in a couple of passes from Troy Arnold that covered 42 and 35 yards respectively. Lane later scored on a two-yard run with 1:58 left in the first quarter. He added the two-point conversion for a 14-0 advantage.
“We felt pretty good getting up by two touchdowns,” said Arnold. “The line blocked well, and our receivers got open. I thought our defense was the difference. Tyler Norris was all over the field, and everybody was flying to the football. It’s special when you get a win over them.”
Happy Valley’s lone touchdown came with the help of a Longhorn’s miscue. They got the ball on the four-yard line after Johnson County mishandled a punt and threw an incomplete pass out of their end zone.
Eli Ayers scored from one yard out on fourth down to cut the deficit to 14-7 after Michael Harrah’s PAT with 2:17 left in the first half.
The momentum established by the Warriors was quickly taken back by the Longhorns on their next possession.
They marched 65 yards with the help of two big pass plays to score just before the half ended.
Arnold hooked up with Eller for 34 yards then added an 18-yard touchdown pass to Lane with 1:49 showing before intermission. Jared Kimble’s PAT made it 21-7 at the half.
“We felt like we could throw the ball on them,” said Eller. “They got the ball, and I tried to make things happen. It felt good that they kept calling my number. A huge win for us over our rival.”
Neither team could muster any offense in the third quarter, as both teams were held scoreless. Happy Valley had the ball inside the red zone twice thanks to a 29-yard punt return from Tyler Norris and a 23-yarder from Eller but couldn’t convert including a 23-yard field goal attempt.

The Warriors put together a nice drove down to the five-yard line but were turned away by the Longhorns’ defense. From there they would deliver the fatal blow.
Lane broke loose for a 95-yard touchdown run up the gut that accounted for the final score with 8:23 remaining. Coach Kerley would empty the bench at that
Lane ended the night with 147 yards on 14 carries. He also added eight tackles on defense.
“I felt like we would break one before the night was over,” said Lane. “I knew they wouldn’t catch me if I could get into their secondary. The line blocked well, and our defense played outstanding. It feels great to get another win over them.”
Eller caught four passes for 120 yards and five tackles on defense. Arnold completed 7-of-15 passes for 152 yards. But it was the defense that stood out most.

Tyler Norris racked up 18 tackles including three for losses and a sack. Lowe added nine tackles and had the fumble recovery for a touchdown. Weston Throop contributed eight tackles and did an excellent job of shutting down the run game. Ethan Bower had a critical interception that kept the Warriors from scoring.
“Our goal was to shut them down and keep them out of end zone,” said Norris. “We didn’t give them anything the whole game.”
Lowe added. “We wanted to get ahead early and take their fans out of the game.
It’s always tough when we play them because both schools don’t like one another.”
Dakota Cochran supplied most of Happy Valley’s offense. He ended the night with 110 yards on 27 carries, many of them from the wildcat package.
Happy Valley totaled 170 yards of total offense. They were 3-of-13 passing for 20 yards.
The Longhorns rushed for 203 yards and added 152 more in the air.
Luke Naylor led the Warriors on defense with ten stops.
Johnson County (6-1) will clinch a first-round home playoff game with a win over winless North Greene on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 on Harold Arnold Field.

H.V. 0 7 0 0 — 7
J.C. 14 7 0 0 —28

Scoring Summary:
1st Quarter
JC—Lowe recoveries fumble in end zone (Kick failed)
JC—Lane 3 run (Lane run)
2nd Quarter
HV—Ayers 1 run (Harrah kick)
JC—Lane 18 pass from Arnold (Kimble kick)
4th Quarter
JC—Lane 95 run (Kimble kick)
Team Stats
1st Downs 8 10
Rushing yards 39-130 27-203
Passes A/C/I 3-13-1 7-17-2
Passing Yards 20 152
Total Offense 150 355
Fumbles 1-1 1-0
Punts 5-25 2-35
Penalties 9-65 7-68
Individual Stats:
Rushing: JC— Lane 14-147, Greer 6-30, Kimble 2-12, Arnold 2-6, Lowe 1-4,
Mann 1-4, C. Neely 1-0. HV—Cochran 27-110, Campbell 7-29, Ayers 5-(minus 9)
Passing: JC—Arnold 7-15-2 152, Kimble 0-2-0 0. HV—Ayers 1-7-0 4, Cochran 2-6-1 16
Receiving: JC—Eller 4-120, Lane 2-22, Greer 1-10. HV—Hyatt 2-16, Carter 1-4.
Sacks: JC—Norris, Lowe
Fumble Recoveries: None
Interceptions—JC—Bower. HV—Little, Cochran
Tackles (3 or more): Johnson County only—Norris 18, Lowe 9, Lane 8, Throop 8, Eller 5, Greer 5, Icenhour 4, Woody 4, Rice 3, Phillips 3, Moody 3, McFadden 3. HV—Naylor 10, Cochran 8, Little 4,

Youth Football Roundup

October 3, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

The Johnson County youth football teams were scattered abroad on Saturday with only the Mighty Mites picking up a victory. Johnson County scored in the final minute to knock off Morristown 13-6 for their lone win. The Junior Pee Wee team took Elizabethton down the wire before losing 16-14. The grass-cutters had a tough time with Elizabethton losing 26-6.

Mighty Mites
Johnson County 13
Morristown 6
Grayson Hensley was the workhouse for the Longhorns scoring both touchdowns including the game winner with 58 seconds remaining.
He tied the game at 6-6 with an 85-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. His game-winner was a 68-yard run. Hensley finished the day with 206 yards rushing, ten tackles, and two sacks. Mason Luckett added 53 yards rushing and caught a conversion pass from Brayden Wallen. Maysen Allen played a solid defensive game with five tackles and two sacks. Hunter Stanley added four stops and a sack as did Luckett. Eathan Wilson and Mason Gregg provided three stops apiece. Caden Woodard and Hayden Isaacs each had one.

Junior Pee Wee
Elizabethton 16
Johnson County 14
The Cyclones found themselves in a dogfight the entire game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds. The Longhorns held a 14-8 lead only to see Elizabethton score on a touchdown pass and kick the game-winning conversion. Christopher Thomas had a 30-yard touchdown run for the Horns. Caden Blevins had the other touchdown from five yards out. Juan Mejia kicked the two-point conversion.
Kyle Maples was a beast on defense with ten tackles. Karter Atwood logged six stops while Blevins and Carson Jennings contributed four apiece. The Longhorns nearly won the game in the final minute on a 50-yard pass from Jennings to Mejia but were stopped inside the 20. Atwood helped the rushing cause with 35 yards. Eli Tester had a big game in the offensive line for the Longhorns. Rhett Slagle tossed touchdown passes to Sully Perkins and Aiden Williams to lead Elizabethton. William Bowers kicked a pair of conversion including the game-winner in the fourth quarter.

Elizabethton 26
Johnson County 6
The Longhorns fought hard against the league-leading and undefeated Cyclones but couldn’t keep them bottled up in the second half.
Hunter McElyea scored the only touchdown of the game on a 55-yard run in the second quarter. The Cyclones used a 40-yard touchdown run by Brycen Blevins and a 70-yard touchdown run by Evan Chambers to go up 13-6 at the half.mBlevins would tack on a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter after Chambers had scampered 45 yards to get them inside the red mzone. Their final score came on a 15-yard run from Bo Armstrong.

The Longhorns got 35 yards rushing by Sawyer Marshall and 25 more from Avery Blevins to add with McElyea’s 55. Marshall, Daniel Yax, Conner Stout, and Blevins had three tackles each for the Longhorns. Bryson Kimble and K.K. Baird led the defense with four. Chambers had a good all-around game for the Cyclones with 150 yards rushing, seven tackles, and 230 all-purpose yards. Blevins rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns from his quarterback position. Karter Force led the defense with ten tackles and three sacks. Lennox Loveday and Brendan Orellana provided four tackles

Longhorns end golf season at regionals

October 3, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

BEAN STATION—It has been a long journey for Johnson County’s golf team in 2018. The Longhorns played all their games on the road including Monday’s regional tournament at Clinchview Golf Club in Bean Station. South Greene won a berth to the state tournament by shooting a team score of 318. University High was runner-up at a distant 353. North Greene, Hampton, Cumberland Gap, and Johnson County rounded out the top six.

The Longhorns shot a team score of 412 led by Jayden Joiner’s score of 94. Reece Stout recorded a 102 while Gavin Reece and Petie Pavusek rounded out the top four with scores of 106 and 110. South Greene’s Peyton Humphries shot a four-over-par 76 to win the individual medalist honors. Teammate Hunter Hartman finished second with a 77. University High’s Daxx Carr qualified for the state tournament as an individual. North Greene’s Ricky Compton and West Greene’s Ty Sauceman also qualified as individuals.

Longhorns ready for angry Warriors

October 3, 2018

#5 Zack Eller TD run

Johnson County will look for Zack Eller (5) to make some big plays for them on Friday against Happy Valley. Eller has been a key performer for the Horns this season. Photo by Tameula Trivett

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County is riding a four-game winning streak and currently ranked No.7 in the AP’s Class 3A poll. They were sitting at No. 3 when they battled Happy Valley last season on top of Warrior Hill. What a difference one season makes. Lady Luck hasn’t been good to Happy Valley in 2018. The Warriors are currently 2-4 after ranking No. 7 in its Class 2A, this time last year.

The Warriors are riding a two-game losing streak including a 31-7 defeat at Grace Christian last week. But don’t think the Longhorns will be overlooking them. One of their wins came against Unicoi County 27-13 that is currently tied for first place with Johnson County. They also played well recently in a heartbreaking 8-7 loss at Cloudland. The Warriors have lost starting tailback Will Tittle for the season with a torn ACL, but they still have some quality football players. Eli Ayers won the starting quarterback job after game three. Their best player is linebacker/fullback Dakota Cochran who scored their only touchdown in last week’s loss. Cochran rushed for 753 yards last season and is pulling the wagon so far this year. Luke Naylor who is also one of the team’s top defensive players leads the offensive line.
Johnson County’s head coach Don Kerley knows what his team is up against.

“Happy Valley has some pretty good football players and always play well against us,’ said Kerley. They are well coached and have played a tough schedule. They held Unicoi County to 13 points, and they are averaging nearly 40 per game. We saw what can happen against Hampton when you don’t come out ready to play. It’s going to a big test for us. They have revenge on their minds because of last year’s game.”

Kerley was referring to last year’s 14-7 victory over the Warriors. Happy Valley was on the two-yard line ready to score but was stripped of the football by Tyler Norris. The senior linebacker ran the ball back 98 yards for a touchdown that swung all the momentum in Johnson County’s favor.

“I remember it well,” said Norris after Friday’s win at Claiborne County. “They’ll come in here wanting to get us back, but we’re going to be ready to play. We’ll not be looking past anyone.”

Norris is approaching 100 tackles and is currently leading Northeast Tennessee in that department. Nathan Lane is one of the area’s top scorers and logged a couple more in Friday’s win. The Horns hope to wear Happy Valley down, as the game gets deep in the third quarter.

“They play a lot of kids both ways but they all pretty good athletes,” added Kerley. “We’ll try and wear them down and play a lot of people. It’s been working for us so far. We have confidence in all of our kids.”

Johnson County will need to find a way to get the football into the hands of their speedsters Lane and Zack Eller. They also need for quarterback Troy Arnold to have a good game and not turn the ball over. Jared Kimble and Stacy Greer both ran the football well in Friday’s win. Johnson County needs to shore up its special teams play especially on extra points. They have failed to convert six times in the last three games due to miscues. Johnson County (5-1) can clinch a home playoff game next week if they can defeat winless North Greene at home. But they won’t be looking past the Tribe.

“We’re taking the one game at a time approach,” said Norris. “We don’t want to be looking past Happy Valley or anyone else.”
Kickoff is set for Friday at 7:30 inside of Paul McEwen Stadium.

Hampton holds off Johnson County Middle School

October 3, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

It’s not often that a coach can smile after a loss but head coach Devin Shaw could on Thursday. His young and inexperienced Longhorns took undefeated and league-leading Hampton down to the wire before falling 6-0 on Harold Arnold Field. The Bulldogs scored on a busted play when Jonathan Greenwell raced 53 yards up the gut with 59 seconds remaining for the game’s only score. It still didn’t dampen the spirits of Shaw about his team’s effort.

“I was really pleased with how our young kids competed,” said Shaw. “We are mostly 7th graders that have not played that much. They could have packed it up after losing the way we have the last two games, but they didn’t. We’re not concerned as much about wins right now, as we are getting better. Tonight we did that against a very good Hampton team.”

The Bulldogs had soundly beaten Chuckey-Doak, a team that handed the Horns a 46-0 loss in the previous week but this week was an entirely different ball game. Neither team could generate much offense over the first two quarters. The Longhorns had the ball 13 plays on their first possession and ate up a big chunk of the clock that went well into the second quarter. The Longhorns had the Dogs back up deep on their 5-yard line, but a 37-yard pass from Dylan Trivett to Gage McKinney got them out of the hole. That was mostly the bulk of Hampton’s offense along with Greenwell’s touchdown run. They ended the night with 130 yards of total offense with those two plays accounting for 90 of them.

Johnson County’s Isaiah Willis rushed for 50 tough yards to lead the Longhorns who could muster only 70 yards of total offense against the tough Bulldog defense. Nick Speed collected the other 20. Austin Hyder rang up 30yards rushing to aid Hampton’s attack.
The defense stood out for both squads. A quartet of seventh graders led Johnson County’s defense. Connor Simcox had a big night with eight tackles and a sack. Chase Muncy racked up seven stops including two for losses. Tyler Bouchelle and his twin sister Zennia Bouchelle both contributed five tackles apiece. Speed, Wills, Grinnan Walker, and Tanner Marshall were in on four stops each.

“These kids are going to be good football players,” added Shaw. Many of them didn’t get to play last year because we didn’t have enough to have a Pee Wee youth league team. We’ve come a ways since the season started. We still have one more game to play.”

The Longhorns made the playoffs thanks to their 26-20 win earlier in the season over Happy Valley. They play at a site yet to be determined on Tuesday.

Hampton 0 0 0 6 — 6
JCMS 0 0 0 0 — 0

Scoring Summary
Ha—Greenwell 53 run (run failed)

Horns spike Black Knights 3-0

October 3, 2018

Taylor Cox setter

JC’s Taylor Cox (13) goes high to set up a kill shot for (24) Taylor Parsons against Elizabethton. The Horns played well but feel in straight sets. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

AFTON—Johnson County needed a win, and they got just what the doctor ordered on Thursday. They swept Chuckey-Doak in straight sets 25-16, 25-13 and 25-18 in their final regular season game. Johnson County’s head coach Donna Poteet touched on her team’s play heading into the District Tournament. She liked the way they finished after a sluggish start.

“We started out slow, and I wasn’t pleased with that,” said Poteet. “We started getting a lot of good movement as the match went on. I thought the setters played really well, and so did our frontline players. We got a lot of net points and had nearly 20 kills. I was pleased with the way that we finished.”

The Longhorns trailed early in the first match before taking control of the match midway through the first set. Renie Morrow and Taylor Cox had a pair of kills apiece that allowed them to take the lead for good. Renie Morrow finished with nine kills while Cox provided seven. Margaret Morrow, Taylor Parsons, and Emily Garr each had a pair of kills that kept the Lady Black Knights on the defensive end.
Cox severed up seven aces to lead in that department. Kaylee Wittenberg, Renie Morrow, Garr, and Natalie Winters added three apiece. Parsons provided three to help the cause. Coach Poteet praised the defensive play of Winters, Bella Miller, Cox, and Renie Morrow throughout the match.

“They were aggressive, and that’s what you want to see,” said Poteet. “It’s good when you win your final regular season game. The girls have improved a great deal.”

The junior varsity won their match 25-16 and 25-11.

Longhorns fall to Cyclones
Johnson County took the fight to host Elizabethton but came up short at the end. The Longhorns lost in straight sets 25-16, 25-20 and 25-23. The Longhorns led the last set 23-22 only to watch the Cyclones score the last three points. Taylor Parsons had a good night on the front line with ten kills. Renie Morrow cashed in on five kills while Abby Cornett and Taylor Cox came up with three apiece. Natalie Winters had a stellar night on the defensive side logging 17 digs. Cox played well as a setter and led the team in serve points with eight.

Johnson County won the junior varsity match.

Season comes to a close
Johnson County saw the season come to a close in the first round of the District Tournament on Monday. The Longhorns fell to third seed Sullivan Central 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 and 25-10. The Horns played close in the first match but didn’t have enough down the stretch for the Lady Cougars. Poteet went to a young but quick lineup in the  second set, and they responded by taking down Central. The Lady Cougars would regroup in the next two sets and win rather easily over the Horns.

Longhorns pummel Bulldogs

October 3, 2018

Longhorns at Claiborne

The fired-up Longhorns take the field at Claiborne County. Johnson County won the contest 33-6 to clinch a home playoff game. Photo by Tim Chambers


By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

TAZWELL—Claiborne County ran more plays (59-46) and dominated time of possession against Johnson County, but the Longhorns won the battle on the scoreboard where it mattered. The No. 7 ranked Horns in Class 3A made the most of their opportunities and cruised to a 33-6 road win on Friday. The conference win clinched a playoff spot for Johnson County and all but assured them a first-round game at home if they can knock off win-less North Greene in two weeks on Harold Arnold Field. Johnson County led 12-0 after the first quarter despite only have the ball for one offensive play. Head coach Don Kerley complimented the defense for coming up with ways to keep the Bulldogs out of the end zone.

“It was a long bus ride down here for the kids, but they played hard the entire game,” said Kerley. “I was very proud of the defense for the way they kept Claiborne from scoring for nearly three quarters. We did a lot of good things, and our offensive line played well on the long drive that we put the game away. It’s always good to get a win, especially when you travel this far. We have a lot of things to improve on, but this was one we had to have.”

Kerley was referring to his squad being in the catbird seat to host another first-round playoff game. It was the bizarre fashion they did it in that left fans shaking their heads.

The Longhorns caught a break in the early going after holding the Bulldogs on their first possession and forcing them to punt deep in their own territory. A bad snap gave the Longhorns the ball at the Bulldogs’ six. Nathan Lane scored on their first offensive play to put the Horns up 6-0. Claiborne got the ball back and marched downfield 76 yards that took nearly 10 minutes off the clock but were stopped once again at the 5-yard line. They elected to attempt a field goal, but Troy Arnold blocked the kick. Weston Throop scooped up the loose football and outran everyone for a 75-yard touchdown on the final play of the quarter.The senior outside linebacker touched on the play.

“Troy made a great play blocking the kick, and then he hit the kicker that was trying to retrieve it,” said Throop. “I just picked it up and took off up the field. I felt like I would score once I got out in front. It’s was a huge momentum changer.”

The Bulldogs never recovered from it although they did put up a good fight. The Longhorns had the ball inside the red zone twice in the second quarter but shot itself in the foot by throwing a pair of interceptions. They didn’t need an air attack in the third quarter.

Zack Eller got them started by returning the opening kickoff 44 yards to the 45. Arnold kept the drive alive with a 13-yard completion to Nathan Lane who later scored a touchdown from the one that extended their lead at 18-0. Claiborne would score their only touchdown at the 6:26 mark on an 11 yard run by Eli Stone but the Horns would have an answer. Lane found a seam up the middle and sprinted 55 yards for his second touchdown. Jared Kimble’s PAT made it 26-6 in favor of the Longhorns. The Longhorns would put the game away with one of their best drives of the season.

“I got through the line and into their secondary, and there was only one man to beat,” said Lane. “We had some success running in the middle. Our line and defense played excellent tonight.”

The offensive line consisting of Logan Gilley, John Stout, Ricky Fenner, Lucas Walters, and Christian Krumsky lived up to its billing on Johnson County’s next offensive possession. They mounted a 12-play, 95-yard drive that all came on the ground. Stacy Greer and Kimble did most of the damage by breaking free on sizeable runs. Kimble had one of 10 yards to keep the drive alive on a third and eight while Greer and Arnold added runs of 13 and 11 yards respectively. Kimble capped off the mammoth drive with a seven-yard touchdown run then booted the extra point. He also gave credit to the offensive line.

“Those guys up front blocked their tails off,” said Kimble. “We wore them down and had some big holes on that drive to run through. This was a huge win for us because we’ll now host a first-round playoff game, but we can’t be overlooking anyone.”

The Longhorns ended the night with 300 yards of total offense with 255 coming on the ground. Lane led the way with 135 yards on 14 carries. Kimble and Arnold added 40 and 35 yards respectively. Sophomore Stacy Greer enjoyed his best game of the season. He carried the ball eight times for 50 yards and scored a two-point conversion. He also caught three passes for 38 yards and logged five tackles.

“I give all the credit to my offensive line because that’s where it starts,” said Greer. “I thought our whole team played well because there was a lot on the line. We wanted to be at home for the first round of the playoff, so we had to win this one. We still got a lot to play for. We want to finish first and win the league.”

Tyler Norris once again led the defense with 12 tackles. He said the goal was to keep them off the scoreboard.

“We kept trying to hold them off because we wanted our defense to help win this football game,” said Norris. “They kept getting some yards on the dive, but we kept them out of the end zone. That’s all that matters to us. We hung in there and did what we had to do.”

Throop and Lane added eight tackles apiece. Tyrone McFadden and freshman Nate Rice logged five each. Bryce Laws rushed 18 times for 85 yards for the Bulldogs. Hayden Hollin caught seven passes for 71 yards. Johnson County will be at home on Friday to take on Happy Valley. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

Johnson Co. 12 0 13 8 -33
Claiborne 0 0 6 0 – 6

Scoring Summary
1st Quarter
JC—Lane 5 run (run failed) 9:47
JC—Throp 75 blocked punt return (run failed) 0:00
3rd Quarter
JC—Lane 1 run (run failed) 6:26
JC—Lane 55 run (Kimble kick) 3;29
CC—Stone 11 run (run failed) 0.56
4th Quarter
JC— Kimble 7 run (Greer run) 2:02

Team Stats
1st Downs 14 15
Rushing yards 33-255 37-155
Passes A/C/I 4-13-3 8-22-0
Passing Yards 45 80
Total Offense 300 235
Fumbles 0-0 3-1
Punts 0-0 4-20
Penalties 9-65 12-85

Individual Stats
(Johnson Co. Only)
Rushing: JC— Lane 14-135, Arnold 4-35, Kimble 6-35, Greer 8-50, Webster 1-0. Claiborne—Laws 14-85, Livesay 8-40, Stone 11-35, Goins 4- (minus 5)
Passing: JC—Arnold 4-12-2 45 Kimble 0-1-1 0. CC—Stone 8-19-0, Goins 0-3-0 0.
Receiving: JC—Greer 3-38, Kimble 1-7. CC—Hollin 7-71, Ervin 1-9
Sacks: JC—Blevins
Fumble Recoveries: None
Tackles (4 or more): Johnson County only—Norris 12, Throop 8, Lane 8,
McFadden 5, Rice 5, Eller 4 Greer 5, Kimble 4, Moody 3, Blevins 3. CC—Livesay 10, Helderman 10, Callebs 9.

Horns enjoying their fountain of youth

October 3, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

Johnson County is making a habit of winning on the gridiron in 2018. The Longhorns are 5-1 and riding a four-game winning streak after losing to Hampton 20-19 in Week two. The Horns had to replace 20 seniors off last year’s squad and a couple more key players. But the well hasn’t run dry just yet. That was obvious watching the junior varsity play on Monday. They defeated Trinity Christian 20-6 a team that defeated Hampton’s varsity earlier in the year. A pair of freshmen was responsible for getting them on the board in the second quarter. Ethan Icenhour blocked a punt near the end zone, and Nate Rice pounced on it for a touchdown.

Their second touchdown came on a 10-yard run by freshman Corie Neely who also ran in the two-point conversion to put them up 14-0. Neely was on the receiving end of their final score. He caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Stacy Greer to close out the Longhorn’s scoring. Rice and sophomore linebacker Ethan Woody had 11 tackles each to top the defense. Many of the above players have contributed at the varsity level.

The Longhorns have been getting good varsity play from freshman John Stout who won the job and freshman tight end Zack Parsons who is also logging a lot of playing time on defense. Both players missed the junior varsity game due to sickness. Another freshman, Dalton Brown is out with an injury, but he too has logged several varsity minutes.

“It’s a good class,” said head coach Don Kerley about his freshmen. “They and the sophomores have a lot of talent. We had to replace a lot of kids off last year’s team, so we’re throwing them in the first early. It’s a good experience for them.”

Ranked team awaits the Longhorns
Saving the best for last is just what Johnson County is doing. The Longhorns could be playing two state-ranked teams in Weeks 9 and 10. They travel to No. 6 ranked Cloudland in 1A and close out the regular season at Unicoi County currently ranked No. 11. The Blue Devils could enter the top 10 should one of the higher ranked teams fall over the next few weeks. The week ten show down between Johnson County and the Blue Devils will be for the conference championship.

Longhorns ranked No. 7 again this week. Johnson County remains at No.7 in this week’s AP Class 3A poll. Alcoa received all 17 first-place votes and are a solid No. 1.

Team: Rec: Points:
1. Alcoa 7-0 170
2. Covington 6-0 150
3. Red Bank 6-0 131
4. Upperman 7-0 122
5. East Nashville 7-0 95
6. Fairview 6-1 91
7. Johnson County 5-1 66
8. Pearl-Cohn 5-2 45
9. Austin-East 5-2 28
10. York Institute 5-1 14

Others receiving 5 or more votes: Unicoi County 11, Gatlinburg-Pittman 5. Area ranked teams: Elizabethton No. 3 in Class 4A. Cloudland ranked No. 6 in Class 1A.

Bad luck so far for MS and JV teams

Zennia Bouchelle

                                        Zennia Bouchelle

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor

It’s been a tough go so far for the middle school football team. The young and inexperienced Longhorns were crushed by Chuckey-Doak on Thursday 46-0. One player stood out for their defensive play despite the loss. Zennia Bouchelle is one a few girls in the Longhorns’ football program but she is already making a name for herself. The 7th grader logged six tackles against the Black Knights including one for a loss. That was tops for the Longhorns.

“She’s very aggressive and she plays hard,” said head coach Devin Shaw. “Zennia wants to play and she wants to be good. I can see her becoming a really good football player.”

The Longhorns were finally able to rack up some second half rushing yards after being held to six yards of total offense in the first half. Isaiah Wills rank for 35 yards while Nick Speed ran for 33. The Longhorns will play at Hampton on Thursday at 6 pm.

Junior Varsity Horns grounded again

The junior varsity football team got saddled with missing another game on Monday. They were scheduled to play Hampton at home but the Bulldogs canceled. The Longhorns have also had games with Elizabethton and Sullivan Central canceled. Many of the JV players are seeing varsity action on Friday but some of it is in limited roles.

“We need our young kids to play some junior varsity game,” said head coach Don Kerley. “We had enough games on the schedule but we can’t seem to get anyone to play. We’ll try and do it again next week.”

Their next game is set for October 8 at home against Happy Valley. They could wipe off their bye date on October 1 and possible play a makeup game.

Horns ranked at No. 7

Johnson County remains in the state rankings this week coming in at No. 7 in the latest 3A poll. Elizabethton is still No. 3 in Class 4A while Cloudland holds down the No. 6 slot in Class A.David Crockett moved up to No. 4 in Class 5A, after destroying Hampton. Daniel Boone is setting at No. 8, while Tennessee comes in at No. 9.

Class 3A

Team: Rec. Pts.
1. Alcoa(16) 6-0 160
2. Covington 5-0 144
3. Red Bank 5-0 126
4. Upperman 6-0 108
5. Fairview 5-1 91
6. East Nashville 6-0 84
7. Johnson Co. 4-1 64
8. Pearl-Cohn 4-2 47
9. York Institute 5-0 36
10. Austin-East 3-2 20