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JCMS Longhorns send Highlanders packing

JCMS’ Jonathon Lisi (23) breaks into the open field on a carry during the Longhorns 28-8 win over Cloudland. Photo by Joey Icenhour.

By Beth Cox
Sports Writer

The Johnson County Middle School football team was back at home Thursday night to take on the Cloudland Highlanders. Unlike the game against Chuckey Doak, the weather was perfect for football. The fans were ready to cheer the Longhorns on for what many believed would be another victory for the undefeated team.

Cloudland tries to stop Longhorns’ Juan Mejia (1) from scoring touchdown during Thursday evening game.The Longhorns won 28-8. Photo by Dean Jones.

The first quarter was touch and go and the Horns seemed to not play their best during the first half. Little action was happening offensively. Coach Devin Shaw could only explain it as the team was just playing flat with little motivation. The Longhorns still maintained a level of control over the game, stopping Cloudland from advancing on the scoreboard.

It is unknown what Shaw may have told his players at halftime, but the Longhorns came alive and ready to play ball in the third quarter. Colton Grindstaff received the kickoff and did not hesitate running the ball for 35 yards and for the first touchdown of the night. After getting stopped on next possession, Johnson County changed it up a little and never looked back. Juan Mejia got 35-yard touchdown for Johnson County in the third quarter. The Longhorns were not done yet, Grindstaff came back after next possession and got the last touchdown of the night. Cloudland was able to get on the scoreboard, but otherwise the game was all Longhorn Nation (28-8).

The JCMS Longhorns have been an impressive team this year, but they do seem to enjoy making their best moves in the second half of the game. When they are ready they have charged through their opponents with lightning speed. This is a team that works well together and knows hard work is the key to their success. Having leaders out on the field like Ben Reece, Juan Mejia, and Jack Csilliag helps keep all the players focused on one thing, winning the district. Shaw and his team have what it takes to go all the way and many believe they will do just that, win the top spot for the conference.

The Longhorns travel to Happy Valley Thursday night but will be back home on September 23, where they will take on the Unaka Rangers. They will finish the season the road at Sullivan East on September 30 and the last game of the season will be against Unicoi on October 7.