JCMS fought hard at Hampton in Elizabethton Thursday night to win 28-14 against the Bulldogs. Photos by Dean Jones
By Beth Cox
The JCMS football team has been on the road showing out and winning games. The first stop was August 26 at West Greene in Mosheim. The Longhorns not only had that long ride but were up against some of the hottest temperatures of the summer. The first half belonged to the Buffaloes. They scored the first quarter against the Longhorns. Going into the second half, the Longhorns tried to make something happen, but it just wasn’t there. West Greene got another touchdown to close out the first half and have all the momentum going into halftime. As the second half began, the Longhorns were down by two touchdowns.
Momentum and confidence may have been on West Greene’s side, but teamwork and determination were Johnson County’s secret weapon and possibly a young man named Juan Mejia. According to Coach Devin Shaw, “Mejia put the team on his back for the second half.” Mejia got the first touchdown of the night with a 35-yard run on the offensive series, followed by another touchdown after a quick stop defense. After stopping the Buffaloes offense, the Longhorns owned the game. With a 24-14 win, Shaw was proud of what he saw in his team, “I thought we learned how to battle that game.” He added, “everyone was able to dig deep and find a way to win.”
The Longhorns traveled to Hampton Thursday, ready to take on the Bulldogs. They had already faced off and defeated two tough opponents, but this one was different. The game against Hampton is always one that comes with a great amount of intensity and determination, but this game was important. The middle school team wanted this win for their program, high school, and Johnson County. The high school had to cancel their game against the rival Bulldogs due to COVID quarantine.
Shaw told his players why this game was so important, “I told them it was up to us to make sure Johnson County got the win against our biggest rivals.” The Longhorns were off to a great start in the first quarter when they recovered the ball on the kick. Unfortunately, Johnson County found themselves in the hole at the ten with back-to-back false starts and couldn’t get the touchdown. Going into the second quarter, The Longhorns come back with a 40-yard run by quarterback Jack Csilliag for the touchdown. With 15 seconds left on the clock, the Bulldogs could get another touchdown on a 25-yard pass on the 4th down. It was a tied game going into halftime.
The second half once again went to the Longhorns. Juan Mejia broke five tackles for the long run and touchdown. He added another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
With Mejia and Csillag’s offensive connection and strong defensive action by Ben Reece, Juan Mejia, and Jack Csilliag, Hampton was no match for the Longhorns, and Johnson County went away with a 28-14 victory.
Shaw was proud of what he saw in his team, “that was by far the toughest game we’ve played.” He continued, “we had many new football players come in and make a difference, such as Joe Joe Church, Cecil Perry, and Brayden Dickenson. I was proud of our effort and how we were able to get punched, get up, and punch back.”