By Tim Chambers
If Johnson County wants to try and win a third consecutive conference championship, it must joust a team of Black Knights. The Longhorns will make the trip to Chuckey-Doak on Friday in the conference opener for both teams.
The “Black Hole” has proven to be a tough place to play for many opponents, and the Longhorns are well aware of it. Their undefeated 10-0 team in 2017 barely escaped with a 14-13 victory in a game that could have gone either way.
Johnson County defeated Doak 43-23 last year to extend their consecutive wins over the Black Knights to three.
Head coach Don Kerley’s only loss to C-D came in 2015 when they fell 45-19 at home. It will be a contest of two teams trying to find their identity.
Chuckey-Doak dropped their season opener to Knox Catholic 48-0 then lost a close 14-6 contest at Happy Valley on Thursday.
The Black Knights were dominated by Catholic one of the state’s top teams but had their chances against the Warriors.
Junior quarterback Matthew Palazzo led them on a drive to the 12-yard line in the third quarter on Warrior Hill completing four straight passes, 16, 6 and 12 yards to various receivers but his last throw of 12 yards to C of 13, 16, 6 and 12 yards but the drive stalled after two costly penalties.
The Black Knights only touchdown came on a 4-yard run by Evan Murvin. Linebacker Seth Shelton led the team in tackles and had a key fumble recovery.
The game at Happy Valley was a flag fest as the yellow hanky flew 25 times in the contest. A few of those hurt Doak after they had mounted drives to get into Warrior territory.
Johnson County should be familiar with that.
The Longhorns struggled on offense in their 12-7 loss to North and could hang only 14 points on the board against Sullivan East in their shutout victory.
They turned the football over four times with interceptions and had 80 yards in penalties. Head coach Don Kerley summed it up after Friday night’s loss.
“We have to do a better job of taking care of the football,” said Kerley. “Our kids played hard, and the effort is there, but too many turnovers and penalties.”
The offense has been by committee as the Longhorns have yet to have a rusher go for 100 yards in a game.
Stacy Greer has completed 17-37 passes for 255 yards in two games. Jared Kimble has caught nine passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns and has thrown for another.
Curtis Lowe and Ethan Icenhour lead the team in tackles with 14 each. Joseph Fox has 12, and Nate Rice and Danny Medley have contributed ten apiece.
The Longhorns will be idle on September 13 before traveling to Hampton on September 20.
Kickoff at the Black Hole is slated for 7:30 pm.