The JCHS Football Team put forth an absolutely dynamic offensive display and it carried the Longhorns to victory.
Mark Jennings rushed for 201 yards on 21 carries and scored three touchdowns and JCHS as a whole finished with 293 yards of offense in the first half to propel the Longhorns to a 41-23 impressive win over Sullivan East at McEwen Stadium Friday night.
The Longhorns put on a show and it was led by Jennings. He came out early and let people know this was going to be the Longhorns night.
JCHS didnt let a 68 yard run in the beginning by Austin Glover that put the Patriots ahead 6-0 get the team down.
All JCHS did was score 28 unanswered points and Jennings answered emphatically.
On the next offensive play following Glovers score, Jennings found a whole and ran for 70 yards to the end zone.
The Longhorns led at the point 7-6 following an extra point by Eric Hernandez.
Tonight I think we did exactly what we needed to do, Jennings said. We played smashmouth football.
Jennings received some help from Austin Humphrey, who rushed for 88 yards, scored two touchdowns and had two kickoff returns for 40 and 71 yards, respectively.
The two players have become Johnson Countys dynamic duo and they are even helping quarterback Jason Steele out.
Jennings and Humphrey allowed Steele to throw a little bit and Steele even had a scoring strike to Jennings for a 24-yard TD that put the Longhorns ahead 21-6.
Before that score, Jennings came through with a 19-yard scamper to give the Longhorns a 14-6 advantage.
I think they are going to be keying on Austin and I a lot which will open up the passing game later on in the season, but until were stopped were going to keep on running, he said.
Humphrey put an exclamation point on the first half when Steele found Austin Humphrey for a 36-yard strike to give the Longhorns a comfortable 28-6 lead.
It ended four scores after the opening East touchdown and it also sent a statement to everyone in the Three Rivers Conference that JCHS was going to be a force this season.
We just came right back at them, Jennings said. They got a long run so I knew we needed a long run. We got right back in it and gained the momentum.
Of course Jennings thought his offensive line was absolutely outstanding.
They were awesome, Jennings said. They always do a good job and always work hard. Danny Herman was playing defense for a change and he did really good and Aaron Charsha was playing offense and he surprised me.
Humphrey took over the second half as in the third quarter when the Longhorns were trying to hold off a small spurt by East, he caused a fumble on defense that was recovered by Zack Jacobs.
Humphrey then went on to score on a 10-yard run to put the Longhorns ahead 34-16.
The last JCHS touchdown came when Steele threw a 22 yard pass in the end zone to Eric Arnold to bring the game to its final score of 41-23.
Though the night was dominated by Jennings and Humphrey, everyone pitched in including sophomore Ryan Mahala, who came through with a big interception late in the game to seal things in his first varsity start.
Skylar Reece also had a big night, finishing with 13 tackles on the evening.
JCHS head coach Mike Atwood knows that the offense carried the team on Friday night and he was so proud of them for stepping up and giving the Longhorns a 2-0 conference record.
I think were getting better every week and Im really proud of the way the offensive line played, Atwood said. This was Aaron Charshas first football game this season and he really stepped in and played well. He gave us some rest and we used some more people on defense. Were getting better.
The first touchdown by East sent a wake-up call to Atwood.
I dont know if it fired them up, but it fired me up, he said. I got them fired up. They knew if we played well we were going to be in the ball game. It was a mental mistake and well fix it.
The next play from scrimmage when Jennings scored showed Atwood this team was ready to play.
Mark played his guts out tonight and hes done it for us all year, Atwood said. Hes a great kid, great football player, he works hard and deserves anything that he gets.
The rematch is now here with the Hampton Bulldogs. Just a few weeks ago, the Longhorns lost 22-21 in overtime.
Our boys will be ready, Atwood said. Theyre going to play hard.
Now 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Three Rivers, the Longhorns are on a roll.
Were playing pretty good right now, Atwood said.
STATS FOR JCHS
RUSHING: Jennings 21-201, Humphrey 14-88, K. Miller 2-8, Poteet 1-6, Kleine 1-0
PASSING: Steele 5-11-0, 110 yards
RECEIVING: Jennings 2-52, Humphrey 1-36, Miller 1-0, Arnold 1-22
TACKLES: Reece 13, Arnold 7, Baxter 5, K. Miller 2, Herman 2, No. 84 3, Mahala 2, Jennings 1, Humprhey 4, Stollings 1.