By Tim Chambers
Johnson County worked its tail off to build a sizeable 32-0 halftime advantage over Unaka. The second half simply was a siesta for the first team unit.
The Longhorns remained undefeated in junior high league play by knocking off Unaka 38-22 on Thursday afternoon at Goddard Field. And they did so by unleashing a ground attack that piled up over 200 yards rushing in the first half.
Head coach Devin Shaw was elated at the way his team came out and took control of the game. They did it by playing some smash-mouth football.
“We feel comfortable when we can play power football and we did that tonight in the first half,” said Shaw. “We kept running the ball hard for positive yardage because our offensive line was winning the battle upfront. Stacy had two big runs early that set the tone. I thought our defense played rock solid and didn’t give up anything big. It was great to get another conference win.”
The Longhorns wasted no time marching 66 yards on their first drive.
Stacey Greer was the catalyst capping off the six-play march with a 21-yard touchdown run. Corie Neely added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Greer struck again like a cobra after the Rangers were forced to punt on its first possession.
He fielded the punt and sprinted 64 yards for a touchdown after maneuvering his way though some traffic at midfield. Neely again added the two-point conversion for a 16-0 advantage.
Things just kept getting better for the Horns.
Nathaniel Aschenback stopped the next Rangers’ drive by picking off a pass and returning it 37 yards. That set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Cody Norris who bulldozed his way into the end zone, carrying three Rangers the final few yards. Neely again ran the two-point conversion for a 24-0 advantage to start the second quarter.
“I thought Corie had some good runs that helped us extend drives,” added Shaw. “I also felt like Ethan Woody and Jay Ortega came in and ran the ball well. Those guys work hard in practice every day. It was good to see them score.”
Neely was his solid self, getting yards by the bushel basket full just before halftime.
He set up Johnson County’s fourth touchdown with a pair of runs that covered 19 and 26 yards. Ethan Woody capped it off by plunging in from five yards out that made the halftime score 32-0 after his two-point conversion.
Johnson County would add one final hurrah to start the third quarter.
Jay Ortega found pay dirt with a 5-yard burst up the gut to close out the scoring. But the young Rangers didn’t toss in the towel.
Devin Ramsey hauled in a 31-yard TD pass from Will Sexton to start the fourth quarter. Landon Perry provided the conversion run to help get the Rangers on the board.
They added another when Sexton hit Daniel Seails for a 14-yard TD pass after a Johnson County fumble.
Their final score came on Sexton’s third touchdown pass, a 37-yarder to Landon Ramsey with 33 seconds remaining in the game.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.