Stacy Greer will look to lead JC to its first win of the season on Friday night at Sullivan North. Photo by Joey Icenhour.
By Tim Chambers
For Johnson County to win at Sullivan North on Friday, it must find some offense that it didn’t have on Friday night against Sullivan East. The Patriots were able to stretch the field with their passing game, which allowed their freshman running back to rack up 105 yards on the ground. They also must find a way to shut down North’s dual-threat quarterback Isaiah Pruitt.
The Sullivan North quarterback proved his worth in their loss to Sullivan Central on Friday. He had over 200 yards of total offense, moving the team down the field effectively with his arms and legs. Pruitt threw for 141 yards and rushed for another 78, showing his elusiveness against a pressuring defense. He’s also a star on the defense, a ball-hawking safety.
However, he isn’t the only star on Sullivan North’s team, comprised of a little more than two dozen players.Ethan Norris, a bruising runner, is often called upon with the fullback dive. He scored North’s touchdown of the season, powering in from two yards out against Central. Joe Flanigan, who lines up at both running back and wide receiver, added to the scoreboard total by running in a two-point conversion.
North can also throw the football when they need to. In the Central game, Pruitt distributed the ball to wide receivers Aiden Wills, Bryant Herron, and Zac Parker, along with tight end David “Cowboy” Howell.
Herron is a tall receiver, a talented athlete who also stars on the basketball floor. Wills and Parker are smart route runners. Howell, a standout on the baseball diamond in his first season on the football field, has already proven to be an effective pass catcher, including a 43-yard reception during North’s first scoring drive. Running an offense not seen as often these days, Landon Roberts fills the role as a wingback.
Austin Fletcher and Brayden Ketron are two tackles who star on the offensive and defensive lines, while Flanigan is the defense leader. Playing linebacker, he had a team-high eight tackles in the season opener.
Johnson County must find a way to move the football to have any chance of winning on Friday. They ran the football well on their opening drive against East, but the Patriots started stacking the box with 11 defensive players and pretty much shut it down the rest of the way.
Head coach Don Kerley said they’ll try and throw a few new wrinkles into the offense after watching North’s offense on Tuesday during a film session. The running back tandem of Stacy Greer and Sam Mann must break some big plays, and quarterback Dalton Brown must find his touch when throwing the football.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Bloomingdale at Sullivan North High School and will be the final meeting ever between the two schools.