By Tim Chambers
Snatching a victory out of the jaws of defeat became a reality for E.B. Stanley at Paul McEwen Stadium on Tuesday. Johnson County appeared well on their way to its first win of the season only to watch the Falcons storm back and deal them a 21-13 loss in middle school football play. It was a frustrating loss for JCMS who led the game at one point 13-0. But head coach Devin Shaw was able to see a lot of things that his team had improved on.
“There was a big leap from when we played T.A. Dugger to this game,” said Shaw. “We’re playing a lot of seventh graders so it’s rewarding watching them progress. They’ll mature because we’ve got some good eighth grade leaders, but we have to learn to put four good quarters together. We got off to a great start, but they hurt us on the edges with their athleticism. We didn’t give up very many yards in the middle. It was the big plays they made that killed us.”
The Longhorns got on the board first thanks to a superior running game that displayed brute power and speed.
Cody Norris bulldozed his way for a 27-yard gain on a fourth and six, breaking two tackles and carrying three would-be tacklers. Neely brought the crowd to its feet by setting sail on a 49-yard touchdown run, giving the Horns a 7-0 lead after Norris’ PAT.
The Longhorns got their biggest play of the game in the second quarter. Stacy Greer shook a tackle and raced 64 yards on a quarterback keeper to make it 13-0 with 7:21 remaining in the half.
But from that point the Falcons’ defense stiffened. They held the Longhorns scoreless over the final 23 minutes and reeled off 21 unanswered points.
The biggest damage was done by seventh grade standout Timmy Jessee.
His 70-yard touchdown run with 3:01 remaining in the half made it 13-7 after his PAT kick.
He put the Falcons in front with a 17-yard touchdown run and PAT with 3:33 remaining in the third quarter.
The Longhorns had its best chance to score in the second half after Logan Gilley recovered a fumble at the Falcons’ 41. Greer provided a pair of good runs down to the 12, but the Horns couldn’t cross the goal line. They dropped a touchdown pass on the drive and a motion penalty put them in a third and long situation.
Jessee scored the Falcons final TD on a 19-yard run with .57 seconds remaining in the game that left the door open for Johnson County to possibly tie. The Falcons could have run the clock out and left with a one point victory, but instead chose to score and it almost cost them.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.