By Tim Chambers
ROAN MOUNTAIN—After three consecutive losses to some quality opponents the Junior High Longhorns showed tons of improvement in Roan Mountain on Thursday. JCMS scored early and often while knocking off Cloudland 40-8 on John Orr Field.
It was head coach Devin Shaw’s first win ever on the gridiron. He took over the team just before the season started due to the illness of Matt Bray. He was elated with his team’s play and the progress that they had made since his arrival.
“We finally put together four good quarters,” said Shaw. “The offensive line played exceptionally well and our backs ran hard. We had some extra guys play some different positions that really helped us out on the defensive side. We talked about being 1-0 in the conference instead of our 0-3 record coming in. Now our focus is on Happy Valley. Being undefeated in the conference was our goal from the start.”
The play of some seventh graders had to be pleasing to Shaw. Corry Neely scored four touchdowns and rushed for 164 yards on only nine carries. Zach Parsons had four tackles on the defensive line while playing his best game.
The offensive line consisting of Logan Gilley, John Stout, Isaac Roark, Ethan Campbell, Ricky Fenner and Samuel Mann was definitely a huge factor in Neely’s numbers.
He scored his first touchdown on a 5-yard run at the 3:38 mark in the first quarter. Stacy Greer’ tossed a pass to Neely on the conversion to make the score 8-0.
The Longhorn needed only two plays to go 30 yards after a short punt by Cloudland.
Neely reeled off a 19-yard run, then found pay dirt from 11 yards out to make the score 14-0.
The Highlanders struggled with field position all night long. A bad snap on a punt attempt went out of the end zone giving Johnson County a safety. It also gave them good field position which they took advantage of on their next drive.
Neely had three carries for 34 yards on the following drive, then Greer crossed the goal line from 17 yards out to make the score 24-0 after Cody Norris’ two-point conversion run.
Johnson County would put the game away with 1:45 remaining in the half on Neely’s 30-yard touchdown jaunt. They took a 32-0 halftime lead after his successful conversion run.
The Highlanders would mount their only scoring drive in the third quarter by way of their passing game. Elijah Blair hit Gage McKinney for a 17-yard touchdown. Cole Morgan hooked up with Blair for the two-point conversion.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.