Just a couple of days following the Varsitys defeat at home against the Tennessee High Vikings, Johnson Countys Junior Varsity team returned the favor, traveling to Bristol and pulling off one of the closest wins in recent memory. The whole first half of the game was a battle of defense as both sides came out fresh and worked hard to get the upper hand.
A first Longhorn touchdown was quickly answered and eventually surpassed as the Vikings made it to the end zone a second time at the beginning of the third quarter. Made up largely of a group of incoming freshmen who already had a chain of victories through their middle school careers, there were few who doubted Johnson County had the ability to win in the end. Yet, looking at a score of 7-14 at the start of the fourth, no one could have predicted quite how close a victory would be. Punting to Johnson County to start off the last official period, the Longhorns brought it back to the 22-yard line. Just a few seconds later quarterback Nathan Arnold landed a massive pass to receiver Dakota Wright, running it in for well over 60 yards and evening the score with an amazing breakout touchdown. With a little over five minutes left and the game now tied at 14, the excitement in the stands was already starting to build.
Taking possession, the Vikings made a couple of good plays to start, running in several yards, and could have spelled disaster with a huge drive if it had not been for Gage Hampton who broke up the pass. Now on a third down, Tennessee High tried it again and this time it was Dakota Wright who saved the day with an absolutely critical interception that brought it all the way back to the 28 yard line. Now showing a little weariness on both sides of the field, the Viking defense managed to hold Johnson County and prevented them from earning the one touchdown that would have likely determined the game.
Even so, the earlier turnover still served to eat up the clock, leaving Tennessee High just over a minute to bring it in. Never to be counted out, the Vikings made several big pushes and were well on their way up field when the Longhorns got another critical break as Will Kerley managed to recover a fumble with just 59 seconds on the clock. Again Johnson County tried their best to end the game with a touchdown, and were able to secure a couple of very close first downs only to eventually try a failed fourth down pass with 18 seconds left in the game. Still at 14-14, the Longhorns were now looking at their first overtime matchup of the season.
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