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Horns hanging on for dear life in season-starter win

Longhorns senior Jared Kimble hauls in Greer’s pass for a 62-yard touchdownto tie the game against Sullivan East last Friday in Mountain City.
Kimble also kicked the extra point giving the Horns a 14-13 lead with 7:33 remaining in the quarter. Photo by Tamas Mondovics

By Tim Chambers
Sports Editor

A huge play of Stacy Greer and Jared Kimble may have made the difference against Sullivan East last Friday, but there was no shortage of help along the way.
The offensive line play of Connor McNutt, Ricky Fenner, Lucas Walters, Jamal Scott, and Big John Stout helped paved the way for 300 yards of total offense, but some new kids on the block were just as impressive.
Nate Rice intercepted a pass to stall East’s next drive in the second half and also delivered a crucial sack on White in the fourth quarter. No Longhorns logged the eye-popping numbers like in years past the plenty of them were effective.
“We didn’t play well defensively in the first half and thought it would be an easy game,” said Rice. “We realized after halftime that we had to step it up. Our goal was to keep them out of the end zone, and we did that. Our offense got the lead, and we weren’t about to let them have it back.”

Game-changing plays
Kimble had the two huge touchdowns but his biggest play came while back to punt. He raced after a bad snap that sailed 20 yards over his head back to the 10 yard line and was able to get off a 28-yard punt that wasn’t returned.
“He kicked that ball probably 50 yards,” said Kerley. “I felt like that was the play of the game. If he doesn’t get that off them, they have the ball down there ready to score. It definitely was a key play.”

Team Leaders:
The Longhorns’ defense never allowed a score in the second half, and they did it with a couple of sophomores and a junior leading the way.
Rice led the assault with nine tackles, an interception, and a sack. Ethan Icenhour just back after being injured had seven tackles. Joseph Fox came off the bench to log seven tackles including two on special teams. Curtis Lowe and Logan Gilley did their part with five tackles apiece. Danny Medley had a fumble recovery.
Greer led the ground game with 85 yards on 17 carries. Kimble added 67 yards on 11 carries and caught three passes for 75 yards. Greer was 4-of-10 passing for 110 yards with no interceptions.
The Longhorns had 300 yards of total offense, 24 more than East. The Pats collected 14 first downs to Johnson County’s 11.

Closing comments
by Coach Kerley
Kerley said his team played a lot of kids and thought that was the difference down the stretch.
“They were playing guys both ways, especially up front, so we wanted to wear them down. I thought our line played well, and so did Jared. Stacy made some big plays, and he’ll get better with more reps.  Our defense kept us in the game and saved us there at the end. We’ve got to get a little bit better every week and clean a lot of things up this week in practice. I feel like we’ll be able to do that.”

Johnson Co. 0 0 13 0 –14
Sullivan E. 7 6 0 0 –13

Scoring Summary:
1st quarter:
SE—Ivester 13 pass from White (Hamelryck kick) 6:47
2nd quarter:
SE—Hayworth 46 run (kick failed) 5:16
3rd quarter:
JC—Kimble 9 run (Kimble kick) 8;56
JC—Kimble 62 pass from Greer (Kimble kick) 7:33

Team Stats
1st Downs 11 14
Rushing yards 42-189 31-188
Passes A/C/I 4-10-0 8-17-1
Passing Yards 111 88
Total Offense 300 276
Fumbles 5-3 2-1
Punts  2-24 3-30
Penalties 5-35 6-65

Individual Stats
Rushing: JC— Greer 17-85, Kimble 11-67, Mann 5-22, Lowe 6-15, Webster 2-0. East—Hayworth 5-57, White 10-40, Brown 9-45, Hare 4-37, Poe 1-14, Dalton 1- (-8)
Passing: JC—Greer 4-10-0 111, East White 8-17-1 88
Receiving: JC—Kimble 3-75, Rice 1-36, East—Brown 3-35, Hayworth 2-21, Scher 2-19, Ivester 1-13
Sacks: JC only—Rice, Webster
Fumble Recoveries: JC only—Medley
Interceptions: JC—Rice
Tackles: JC only —Rice 9, Fox 7, Icenhour 7, Gilley 5, Lowe 5, Medley 3, Neely 3, Webster 3, Bower 2, Walters 2, Oxentine 2, Moody 1.