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Horns winning at all levels

October 24, 2018

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

It’s no secret that football has been resurrected at Johnson County. Part of that is due to the newly aligned classifications that moved Elizabethton and Sullivan South up from 3A to 4A. The Longhorns are 19-2 over the past two seasons and been ranked in the AP’s Class 3A poll for 18 consecutive weeks. Last year they achieved a No.3 ranking while this year’s squad currently stands at No.5 after Tuesday’s release. The winning epidemic has also spread down to the junior varsity.

The only blemish came last week at Sullivan East, but they got back on the winning track against Cloudland on Monday. They took down the Highlanders 33-6 at home after they fell behind 6-0 in the early going. They tied the game at 6-6 thanks to Donnie Curd’s 60-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Scoring by way of special teams has suddenly become contagious among the Horns. Corie Neely put them on top 12-6 after his electrifying 98-yard punt return with 8:16 left in the second half. Neither team would score again in the quarter.

Johnson County put the game away with a stellar second-half performance. Stacy Greer got loose on a 33-yard touchdown run then Sam Mann ran in the two-point conversion. The long touchdown runs continued. Dalton Brown got in on the scoring act with a 57-yard touchdown run from the quarterback position. Jenna Horner kicked the extra point for a 27-6 advantage. Their final score came on a 10 yard run by Neely. Ethan Icenhour and Ethan Icenhour had ten tackles apiece to lead the defense. Joe Fox and Zack Parsons gathered five each. Fox also recovered a fumble.

Youth League teams play well in Abingdon
The youth league Longhorns found the going good last week in Abingdon. The grass-cutters with a couple of mighty-mite players pulled off the shocker by handing Abingdon their first loss 20-0.

“Our boys came out fired up and ready to play,” said head coach Kevin Blevins. “They knew our opponent was undefeated and they all stepped up and played well.”

Avery Blevins, Sawyer Marshall, Hunter McElyea, Connor Stout and Bryson Kimble all played well with multiple tackles on the defensive side. Blevins sparked the offense by throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to McElyea to get Johnson County on the board. K.K. Baird added a 40-yard TD run, and Blevins tackled on the conversion. Blevins scored the final TD on a 20-yard run. Marshall rushed for 80 yards to lead the ground game. McElyea added 70 yards, and Kimble ran for 50. Grayson Hensley and Stout provided 15 yards each. Aaron Madrey chipped in with 10.

Happy camper combination
The Longhorns combined their Junior Pee Wee and Pee Wee squad to knock off Abingdon in dramatic fashion 7-6. Coach Austin Atwood’s Longhorns scored with 30 seconds remaining in the game to gather the victory. Kyle Sluder brought the crowd to its feet by racing 35 yards for a touchdown. Nate Dorman kicked the game-winning extra point to give his team the victory. Abingdon scored a 55-yard touchdown at the end to pull within one but couldn’t convert them on their game-winning two-point conversion run.

Horns remain at No. 5
Johnson County remained at No. 5 in the latest Associated Press Class 3A poll after its win at state-ranked Cloudland on Friday. Here is a listing of Tuesday’s Class 3A poll.

Rank & Team. Rec. Pts.
1. Alcoa (15) 9-0 150
2. Covington 9-0 133
3. Red Bank 8-0 114
4. Upperman 9-0 111
5. Johnson Co. 8-1 87
6. Pearl-Cohn 7-2 72
7. East Nashville 8-1 55
8. Austin-East 7-2 44
9. Fairview 7-2 32
10 Unicoi Co. 8-1 25

Local Teams: Cloudland No. 8 in Class 1A
Elizabethton No. 5 in Class 4A