JC’s Stacy Greer goes for a 28 yard TD run during the Longhorns win over Sullivan North. Photo by Joey Icenhour.
By Tim Chambers
Chuckey-Doak always seems to be a thorn in Johnson County’s side, and Friday night is just like past years. Last year the Horns appeared headed into the end zone for a game-winning score but fumble and lost a heartbreaking 14-10 contest that sent their season into a tailspin. The good news is that Johnson County is coming off a 31-8 win over Sullivan North this time around, unlike last year’s 12-7 loss to North at home.If the Horns expect to have a chance at winning the conference, they’ll need to defeat the Black Knights, led by two of Greene County’s finest football players; two-year starter, Matthew Palazzo, and running back, Evan Murvin.
The Black Knights dropped their season opener to powerhouse Knox Catholic 42-0, who would have beaten Johnson County that bad or any other Class 3A team in Northeast Tennessee. The Longhorns had a big win on Friday, and head coach Don Kerley was pleased with the way they played but said they must clean up some things to beat the Black Knights.
“I thought our kids played hard, and when you do that, good things will happen,” said Kerley. “It’s hard to tell anything about them on film because Catholic is so good. Their quarterback is very impressive, and their running back (13) is the real deal. It’s their conference until somebody takes is from them. We’re hoping to do that on Friday.”
Johnson County rushed for nearly 200 yards against Sullivan North but must find a way on Friday not to be one dimensional. They found success through the air of Friday with Dalton Brown and Ethan Bower hooking up for a 55-yard touchdown passes and catch.
“I thought we threw the ball long too much, and we picked on the wrong defensive back,” said Kerley. “We have to make good decisions on Friday. The winner of this game could have the upper hand in the conference race. They’ll come in here ready to play.”
Brown said they hadn’t forgotten last year’s loss down at the Black Hole.
“We should have beaten them last year,” said Brown. “We have to eliminate our mistakes this time and come away with a big win.”
Coach Kerley stressed that there’d be nearly 1250 tickets that will go on sale this week, and he urged the fans to come out and support his team.
“There should be enough tickets for those that want to come to get in,” said Kerley. “It’s a big game for us. We sure could use the fan support.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm inside of Paul McEwen Stadium.