By: Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
Chuckey-Doaks Energizer Bunny-like performance was too much for Johnson County on Friday. The Black Knights kept on going and going to a 39-26 win before a large crowd inside of Paul McEwen Stadium.
They are 4-0 for the first time since 1992. The Longhorns now stand at 1-3.
It was a night where the home team was given a lesson on smash-mount football at its best. Chuckey-Doak ran for a whopping 388 yards with quarterback Tanner Barkley racking up 183 on 20 attempts. Head coach Don Kerley praised the opposition.
Our kids played hard but we didnt have a good scheme for them, said Kerley. You have to tip your hat to Coach (Ben) Murphy because they ran the ball well and we couldnt stop them. Were playing a lot of young kids and sometimes you make mistakes doing that. But I was proud of them for the way they battled back. They never quit and they put us in a position to win at the end. You couldnt ask for anything more as a head coach.
It looked like the night would belong to Johnson County in the early going. Samuel Icenhour took the opening kickoff back 75 yards for a touchdown to go up 7-0 after Rico Ortegas extra point. But the Black Knights proceeded to march 69 yards in 13 plays with Barkley leading the way.
After his runs of 17 and 16 yards led to a 4-yard touchdown run by Corey Starkweather but Doak would miss the PAT allowing Johnson County to remain in front 7-6.
And they would extend that on their next possession.
The Longhorns got a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Icenhour on a fourth and goal with 11:28 remaining in the second quarter to go up 13-6. But back came the Black Knights with a vengeance.
It took only three plays for them to complete a 61-yard scoring drive. Starkweathers 9-yard touchdown run tied the game at 13-13 after the PAT by Brian Alverez.
Again it was Barkleys 57-yard run that helped pave the way for C-D to take the lead.
Starkweathers second 9-yard touchdown run put them in front for good at 20-13. It was his third touchdown in the half.
Johnson County drove to the 25-yard line but couldnt get the ball in before the half ended. That proved to be costly because the Black Knights would score on their first possession to open the third quarter.
Ty Waddells 2-yard run gave them what appeared to be a comfortable 27-13 cushion. But that was not to be.
The Black Knights recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff only to turn it right back over with Johnson Countys Payton Fenner falling on the loose football.
Doak maintained its lead until midway through the fourth quarter when all the fireworks began.
The Longhorns called on its sophomore duo of Bud Icenhour and Nathan Arnold to help get them back in the game.
Icenhours 15-yard touchdown run got them close at 27-20 with 6:32 remaining in the game. But again their defense couldnt stop Chuckey-Doaks Wing-T offense.
Wadells 31-yard touchdown made it 33-20 with 2:48 remaining but Johnson County would rally for one final time.
Arnold fired a 15-yard dart to Dakota Wright after a 35-yard run by Icenhour that cut the deficit to 33-26 with 2:06 showing.
At that point disaster would strike.
The Longhorns recovered the ensuing onside kick but turned it over one play later on what was ruled to be a fumble. It was a hard pill to swallow for Johnson County after Icenhour appeared to clearly have the football.
The Black Knights could have taken a knee and ran out the clock with JC out of timeouts. But instead Waddell scored a 25-yard touchdown with 1:18 remaining. That didnt set very well with many of the Longhorns and neither did a hard hit on Arnold in the closing seconds.
We will remember this game for a long time because were a young team that plays a lot of sophomores, said Icenhour. This one hurts because we could have won. We didnt do a good job in the first half but our coaches made some great adjustments at halftime. We got a tough break at the end because they never recovered the fumble. But well bounce back and learn from it.
Icenhour ended the night with 56 yards on only three carries. Samuel Icenhour finished with 56 yards on 10 carries. Wright added 41 yards on seven attempts.
Arnold completed 11-of-16 passes for 119 yards. Cody Bailie led the way with five catches for 52 yards. Wright added two for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Fenner continued his superb play on the defensive side. He amassed 17 tackles in addition to his fumble recovery. Alex Tressler was credited with 10. Benji Bower and Jose Guzman logged six each.
Were going to keep playing hard and get this thing turned around, said Arnold. Were playing more as a team and lots of guys are stepping up and making plays. When you have a player like Cody Bailie on the outside it opens up a lot of opportunities for the others. We need to get him the ball more. We know he can make us some big plays.
Waddell and Starkweather provided 105 and 75 yards to compliment Chucky-Doaks ground game.
I told the guys all week that Johnson County is a good football team, and they kept battling, said Chuckey-Doaks Ben Murphy. Im happy to get out of here with a win.
The Longhorns will be at home in two weeks to take on Claiborne County after their bye week. It will mark the midway point of the season.
Johnson County 26
Chuckey-Doak 6 14 7 12 — 39
Johnson Co 7 6 0 13 — 26
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