October 17, 2018
By Tim Chambers
The Husky dogs couldn’t mush against the No. 7 ranked Longhorns on Friday night inside of Paul McEwen Stadium. Johnson County’s defense dominated play by scoring five defensive touchdowns in their 57-0 blowout win over North Greene. The Longhorns will now host a first-round home playoff game for the second consecutive year. They’ll play for the conference championship on the road against Unicoi County in two weeks. The overmatched Huskies were clearly outmanned against the much deeper and talented Longhorns. The Huskies trailed 18-0 early in the first quarter and the Longhorns had run only one offensive play.
Head coach Don Kerley praised his senior players.
“They’ve won a lot of football games for us,” said Kerley about the seniors. “They have come out here and worked hard and did all the things we’ve asked of them and they know how to play. We’ll be challenged in our next three games because everyone we play is good. I’m proud of our coaching staff for all their hard work, and you can’t say enough about the kids. It was good that everyone got to play tonight on our last regular season game.”
DEFENSE SCORES THE FIRST 18 POINTS
The Longhorns would have the game well in hand before the first quarter had expired. They led 31-0 after one and extended their advantage to 45-0 by halftime. Touchdowns came in a variety of ways including a quintet of them scored by the defense. North Greene’s first offensive series would set the tone for the game. They were forced to punt and fumbled the ball inside the red zone which was recovered by Johnson County’s Weston Throop. From there they would score on their first offensive play.
Stacy Greer found the end zone from 12 yards out giving the Horns a 6-0 advantage with only one minute gone in the game. That led to several North Greene miscues that were converted into points by the Horns. Throop recovered his second fumble of the game inside the end zone for the first defensive touchdown to up the ante at 12-0. He felt like it was important for them to get off to a good start.
“We didn’t want to let them hang around,” said Throop. “We wanted to be playing well going into our next two games.”
Nate Rice laid a jarring hit to North Greene’s quarterback causing another fumble at the 10. Colt Moody picked up and scored from there to increase their lead at 18-0. Johnson County would add two more touchdowns before the first quarter ended. Nathan Lane provided them a 10 yard TD run then hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from Troy Arnold with 1:10 remaining in the first quarter. They would expand on their 31-0 advantage in the second quarter.
North Greene tried to move the football in the second quarter but continued to make mistakes. They turned Harold Arnold Field into a sea of turnovers. Troop scored his second defensive touchdown of the game by picking off a pass and running it back 55 yards for a score. The next defensive touchdown came after a massive hit by Tyler Norris on the Huskies’ quarterback that caused a fumble and sent him to the sidelines. Tyler Phillips picked up the loose football and returned it 51 yards for another score. Tyrone McFadden kicked a pair of extra points putting the Horns up 45-0 at the half.
NORRIS PROVIDES AN ENCORE
The Longhorns begin the second half just like they ended the first one. Norris logged the last defensive touchdown by intercepting a pass and taking it back to the house 81 yards for a score. Their final touchdown came on a two-yard run by Sam Mann whose 39-yard run set up that score. The eye-popping numbers didn’t happen on this night due to limited playing time for the Longhorn starters. Mann led the ground game with 48 yards on six carries. Troy Arnold attempted only two passes, one to Lane for a touchdown.
Norris did collect 12 tackles; eight came in the second quarter to go along with his touchdown interception return. Throop gathered eight tackles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception to go along with his two defensive touchdowns. Ethan Icenhour, Sammy Walters, Gavin Wilson, and Ethan Woody collected four tackles apiece. Colton Story led Huskies’ ground game with 45 yards on 15 carries. Tyler Sanches finished with 27 yards on four rushes. The Huskies were sacked three times on pass attempts and threw three interceptions. They were also tackled behind the line of scrimmage eight times.Brandon Mercer and JC Staton and Story had four tackles each to lead the defense. Jan Sauceman had a 22-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Sky Arwood contributed a 12-yard run.
“That’s a good football team that we played,” said North Greene’s head coach Andrew Murray. “There is a reason they are ranked like they are and their record is what it is. That’s somewhere we would like to be in the future.
The Longhorns (7-1) will travel to Roan Mountain on Friday to take on Cloudland (7-1), ranked No. 6 in Class 1A.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.
North Greene 0 0 0 0 – 0
Johnson Co. 31 14 6 6 -57
JC—Greer 19 run (run failed) 11:00
JC—Throop recovers fumble in end zone (kick failed) 9:10
JC—Colton Moody 10 yards fumble return (kick failed) 8:48
JC—Lane 10 run (McFadden kick) 1:50
JC—Lane 25 pass from Arnold (McFadden kick) 1:10
JC—Throop 55 interception return (Kimble kick) 6:10
JC—Phillips 51 fumble return (Kimble kick) 1:27
JC—Norris 81 interception return (kick failed) 1:50
JC—Mann 2 run (kick failed) 3:30
1st Downs 5 7
Rushing yards 32-63 20-110
Passes A/C/I 4-10-2 1-4-0
Passing Yards 42 25
Total Offense 105 135
Fumbles 5-4 0-0
Punts 2-20 0-0
Penalties 4-20 2-15
Rushing: JC— Lane 6-22, Greer 2-7, Lowe 1-0, Arnold 1-20, Neely 3-5, Mann 6-48, Kimble 1-6. NG—Story 15-45, Sanches 4-27, Staton 7-(minus 5), Kea 5-(minus 14), Arwood 1-9,
Passing: JC—Arnold 1-2- 25, Kimble 0-2-0 0. NG—Kiker 4-10-2 42
Receiving: JC—Lane 1-25. NG—Kea 2-14, Staton 1-22, Arwood 1-6
Sacks: JC—Norris, Troop, Rice. NG—None
Fumble Recoveries: JC—Troop 2, Moody, Lowe. NG—None
Tackles (4 or more): Johnson County only—Norris 12, Throop 8, Icenhour 4, Walters 4, Wilson 4, Woody 4. NG—Mercer 4, Staton 4, Story 4.