Longhorns Juan Mejia (1) turns the corner in JCMS’ season opening win over Chuckey Doak. Photo by Joey Icenhour
Longhorns 22, Black Knights 6
By Beth Cox
It was a humid, rainy night on the field of Paul McEwen Stadium as the Johnson County Middle School was beginning its football season opener against the Chuckey Doak Middle School.Coach Devin Shaw was eager to see how well his young team would perform against the Black Knights of Greene County. He would use the results of this game as a standard for what was to come in other games down the road. Well, Coach, with a 22-6 win over CDMS, it is going to be a good season if the Longhorns can keep the same momentum they had on that soggy Thursday night.
The first quarter got off to a great start, with Juan Mejia carrying the ball about 44 yards down the field for the team’s first touchdown. Shaw was proud of Mejia’s performance explaining the athlete’s talent, when he said, “Juan was awesome and is just an extremely talented football player. We will be hearing his name a lot over the next five years.”
The Horns strong defensive lineup kept the Black Knights away from the end zone for the first half of the game. They were not moving the ball too much during the second quarter, but sporadic, torrential downpours could have contributed to the loss of yards for both teams.
The Longhorns went into halftime, leading 6-0 against Chuckey Doak. Shaw said he made a few adjustments during the break, and the boys figured out how to play in the rain. It appeared the Black Knights were not able to make that rain adjustment because the Longhorns came out of the chute, leaving a slew of Knights faltering on the field as they headed straight for the endzone for touchdown after touchdown.
The second half was all about the Longhorns, thanks to quarterback Jack Csillag getting the ball to key players such as Mejia and Kaleb Courtner. Shaw also credits Ben Reece and Colton Grindstaff with some tremendous blocking and opening up the field for Mejia. Looking ahead, there is work to be done offensively, but Shaw is proud of what he saw with his defensive team.
“We know getting where we need to be offensively, will take a while, but defense is what wins championships, and we looked like that will be one of the strengths of this football team.”