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JCHS Longhorns 1988 season, one to remember

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Writer
[email protected]

The year was 1988.
“Rain Man” topped the movie charts and a gallon of gas could be purchased for a buck. The three cylinder Yugo car was being advertised for $3995.00 and Bo Jackson was playing professional baseball and football for the Kansas City Royals and the L.A. Raiders.
Another “Bo” was showing Johnson County football fans how special he was on the gridiron.  And so was his supporting cast.
The Longhorns climbed to ninth in the state rankings that year and went undefeated in Watauga Conference play. They also gave Alcoa a scare in the second round of the football playoffs.
That was 26 years ago when Bo Henson was selected to the All-State team along with standout placekicker Steve Souder.
Tom and Don Kerley, Craig Moorehouse, Larry Miller and Larry Dunn joined Henson, Miller and Souder on the All Watauga Conference team. Bill Heck, Ethan Proffitt, Greg Jenkins and Austin Atwood were tabbed as second teamers.
It’s uncommon for a team to get 11 players selected to the elite squad. Hampton placed only five while finishing second.
The Longhorns dealt them their only conference loss 21-6 in the season opener for both teams. It was Henson that set the tone for things to come.
He took the opening kickoff back 75 yards for a touchdown. Henson also caught a 65-yard scoring strike from Tom Kerley on a play that was designed in the huddle.
“I remember we decided to run a halfback pass,” said Henson. “We drew it up in the huddle because we thought it might work. We had never run it before. We still laugh about it today especially since we beat Hampton with it. It was always special when we could beat those guys.”
Don Kerley provided a touchdown from six yards out.
The trio of Ethan Proffitt, Greg Jenkins and Greg Moorehouse combined to make 28 tackles. There were 10 fumbles in the contest with each team losing four apiece.
That would be the only thing lost during the first two weeks of the season for Johnson County.
The “Horns blasted South Greene 27-6 in their second game.
Don Kerley had a pair of touchdowns as did Moorehouse who complied 85 yards rushing.
Proffitt’s 11 tackles and nine apiece by Tom Kerley and Atwood would spark the defense.
Not to be overlooked was a pair of punts by “Thunder-foot” Miller that flipped the field. His 68- and 67-yard boomers are still a conversation piece today.
“I remember those two punts well,” said Henson. “Our kicking game was the best anywhere that year. It helped us win a lot of games.”

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