By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
The top two teams in the Little Watauga Conference met on Thursday at Paul McEwen Stadium to see who would claim the top prize. Chuckey-Doak would walk away with the gold hardware.
The Black Knights dominated the game from start to finish by knocking off Johnson County 48-6 to remain undefeated in league play. It was the first league loss for the Longhorns who had won three in a row up to last night.
The Longhorns will finish second in the conference at 4-1 if they can defeat Hampton on Thursday at home. This will be the final contest after the league voted two years ago to do away with the league championship game between the top two teams.
Head coach Devin Shaw complimented the much superior Black Knights squad for their dominating performance.
“To be honest they were bigger, faster and stronger than we were,” said Shaw. “They were well coached with hardly any weaknesses. We had to play the perfect game to have a chance at winning and we didn’t. We had some stuff that could have went our way in the first half but didn’t. We dropped what would have been two touchdown passes and we didn’t score after getting a run of 60-plus yards and having the ball on the three. We’ve played okay at times but the bottom line is we got beat by a much better team.”
Shaw was correct on his assessment about the Black Knights.
Quarterback Stacy Greer spent the entire night trying to avoid the strong rush of C-D’s Carlos Dimas and Hayden Brown. They ended the game with two sacks each and disrupted the Longhorns’ offense all night long.
The Horns got off to a rocky start and were forced to punt after three plays and that led to Chuckey-Doak’s first touchdown.
A 45-yard punt return by Evan Murvin helped set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Collin West. From that point the roof crashed in on Johnson County.
Murvin would score from 22 yards out on Doak’s next possession that extended their lead at 12-0. But it was their defense that was doing the most damage.
A bad snap deep in Doak’s territory led to another quick score for the visitors. Mathew Palazzo hit Dustin Eatmon with an 18-yard touchdown pass to make the score 20-0 after Murvin’s two-point conversion.
Then disaster struck in its worst form for Johnson County.
Corie Neely broke free for a long 61-yard run that got them within 12 yards of their first touchdown. But Neely was injured on the play and had to leave the game by way of an ambulance. Two false starts and a sack after getting down to the 3-yard line would spoil their best chance of scoring in the first half.
Murvin capped off the first half by scoring touchdowns on runs of 31 and 45 yards.
The Black Knights led 36-0 at the half.
The teams played to a continuous clock in the second half.
Murvin had a 35-yard touchdown run and West added a 45-yarder to the cause.
Murvin would end the night with 160 yards rushing and four touchdowns. West added 102 yards and a pair of scores.
Johnson County’s lone score came on an electrifying 91-yard kickoff return by Stacy Greer. He also led the defense with six tackles.
“Our kids kept playing hard which says a lot about their character,” added Shaw. “Losing Corie in the first half hurt, but our kids stayed after it. We have a chance at going 4-1 in the league if we can beat Hampton. That’s a pretty good year considering we didn’t have many players back from last year and we started the season playing three really tough teams.”
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