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Horns lose season opener Thursday night to bigger Tennessee High Vikings

In their debut home game against the visiting Tennessee High Vikings, Johnson County’s varsity football team started off strong and held their own all the way down to the half. Playing that high of a caliber opponent means that every single play can be the game breaker, and it only took a couple serious setbacks to ultimately cost the Longhorns a rare chance at victory.
That said, no one could dispute the fact that this year is already looking more promising than the last few with a strong lineup of both veteran players and talented incoming freshmen. It was a true team effort that kept Johnson County competitive throughout the first half, and much of the success was owed to the defense that prevented the Vikings from scoring at all until late in the second quarter.
The offense did equally well, with a short lead early on when Johnson County made the first leap onto the scoreboard. It was only a couple minutes later that the defensive dam finally broke, with a couple of critical mishaps that not only put Tennessee High back in the level but also one touchdown ahead.
“It really should have been 7-6 us right at the half,” said Head Coach Don Kerley. “But then we let them get that punt in on us. We let them get one in and scored. We had a pretty good field position about the 40 then we went three down and they got the field goal. They got the field goal and another punt. Those scores right before the half probably broke our back the most.”
A third touchdown midway through the third quarter made things even worse for the Longhorns, but the home team kept fighting and were able to regain a little ground when a pass to Dakota Wright gave Johnson County more than 35 yards and helped land the second scoring run of the night. The Longhorns actually reached the end zone earlier with a short pass to Aaron Osborne, but that effort was set back by a penalty call from the game officials.
With less than three minutes on the clock Johnson County was looking pretty good, trailing by just one at 14-21. Regrettably the Vikings were able to pull off one final play that saw the running back break through the Longhorns defense to manage one final score before the start of the fourth. Even then there was some hope as Dakota Wright cleared another huge pass from Warren Kerley to bring the ball deep downfield.

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