Johnson County 34, Hampton 28
By Tim Chambers
For a team just hoping to play football this season, the Junior High Longhorns make the most of their opportunity. Johnson County finished the regular season undefeated by knocking off Hampton 38-34 inside of Paul McEwen Stadium on the eighth-grade night.The combo duo of Kyle Sluder and Jace Stout hooked up on four touchdown passes that proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.
Hampton got on the scoreboard first when Logan Brochure broke off a 55-yard touchdown run that put the Dogs up 6-0.
Johnson County tied the game on a 13- yard touchdown pass from Kyle Sluder to Jace Stout. Sluder completed two passes on the 72-yard drive for 26 yards, and Stout carried the ball three times for 31 to help keep the drive alive.The Longhorns took their first lead at 12-6 with 3:18 remaining in the first half on a 45-yard pass from Sluder to Stout. It stayed that way till the dynamic duo hooked up again. This time they combined for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter to go up 20-6.
Hampton would get a 34-yard touchdown pass from Dominique Burleson to Damien Buckles to close the gap, but Sluder was hotter than a two-dollar pistol. He tacked on a 5-yard touchdown run and 2 point conversion that extended their lead at 28-12 with 1:38 remaining in the third.Burleson would later break free for a 79-yard touchdown run for the Bulldogs. He ended the game with 158 yards on only 12 carries.
Johnson County got a big 60-yard kickoff return by Juan Mejia to the 20 that set up their touchdown. Sluder fired a 74 yard TD pass to Jack Csillag to put his team up 34-20 with 6:02 remaining. Stout rushed for 55 yards, and Sluder added 44 to lead the Longhorns ground attack.Sluder completed 6-8 passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns. Nate Dorman was a beast on the defensive line collecting seven stops and holes on the offensive side.
“We really wanted to win this game,” said Sluder after the contest. “We’ve missed a lot of practice time, but we all played hard and didn’t quit. It feels great to have won all of our games. This win was worth it all.”
Head coach Devin Shaw was happy to have Sluder on his side.
“He’s a great kid and an outstanding football player,” said Shaw. He and Stout made sure we were not going to lose. I thought Dorman played well in the line tonight. We had a lot of kids step up and play well. This is a great win for us.”
Stout agreed. “We weren’t about to let them come in here and spoil things,” added Stout. “We jumped back on them after they got the lead and didn’t let up. I think it surprised them when we kept throwing the football.”
There will be no playoff games due to the COVID 19. Johnson County ends the season 3-0.