By Matt Hill
Johnson County 63, Johnson City Red 0.
The above cumulative score of the Pee Wee Championship and Jr. Pee Wee consolation games won by Johnson County Youth Football Teams should tell you that the future is bright for Longhorn football.
The Longhorns were dominant in two showcases at Hampton on Saturday as the Pee Wee won 32-0 and the Jr Pee Wee won 31-0 over Science Hills feeder school.
The Pee Wee Team won the whole thing and was absolutely outstanding all year, giving up only one touchdown.
The team, coached by Blake Fenner, Sam Icenhour, Mike Fenner and Kevin Main, had everything clicking all year long.
On Saturday, the team faced its toughest test and passed it with flying colors.
The emotion of the team was high and I dont know one kid that didnt play their best game of the year, Fenner said. They were ready to see somebody different and we had unfinished business from last year. We had beaten this team and another team, but they worked it out where it was a three-way tie for the championship and we felt slighted.
This is the first year in a long time they did a bowl game. This year Johnson City and Jonesborough didnt play us. Johnson City has two teams and we played the other Johnson City team. The best two teams down there didnt play us this year. They had two divisions and we were in the East Division. Johnson City won the west and we played them in the championship
This team has been together since they kindergarten and after a solid run through the flag, grasscutters and Jr. Pee Wees, they have raised their game to another level as Pee Wee players.
This is the most dominant team I have ever been associated with, Fenner said. Weve scored 292 points and gave up one touchdown. We scored on every offensive possession this year but one, we had to turn it over on downs. Our offensive numbers are low, but we are usually on defense in the second quarter through the rest of the game. This is the most talented team I have even been a part of.
Fenner said this was a total team effort between the players and the coaches.
Sam Icenhour is my right hand man, Fenner said. Sam is in charge of the defense. He runs it. We couldnt have gone undefeated without Sam Icenhour. He coaches the offensive and defensive lines and puts in the blocking scheme. Kevin Main and brother Mike Fenner are assistants and they make sure everybody gets in. It was a group effort. Im the offensive coordinator and head coach. It was a total team effort.
The group was very excited to take on Johnson City Red and it showed.
Thats the team they always stack, Fenner said. They hand pick it. When we started the year they said We want Red and I said What! They were heartbroken that they were not on our schedule. We wanted to play the best team and they are usually the team you have to beat to win. We beat them last year with Jordan Grubb, Warren Kerley and all of those guys 9-7. They worked it out to where we were in a three-way tie so we had some unfinished business left.
This group in which most of the skill players are seventh graders, will move up to the middle school next year and try to repeat their success and also what their friends at JCMS did this season with their magical season.
The competition will be tougher, but Fenner has no doubt this team is going to rise to the challenge.
JCMS head coach Matt Bray was there and I talked to him on the phone the next day and he told me he loved what the team looked like and that they were very hard-hitters from top to bottom, Fenner said. The thing he said was, we need them to grow. Thats understandable. We had the biggest team in the league. Our line was around 165-175. Im certain that next year these guys are going to be as big or bigger than any of them. The biggest challenge is getting them bigger. But if you can play football, you can play football.
STATS FOR PEE WEE GAME
Samuel Icenhour 107 yards rushing, two touchdowns, 2 extra points and two tackles and finished the year with over 1,000 yards rushing. Alex Tressler, 98 yards rushing and four tackles and a fumble recovery. Justin Pardue finished with 36 yards rushing and one touchdown and 77 yards passing for one touchdown with three tackles and an interception. Cody Bailie had 77 yards receiving for one touchdown and two tackles. Payton Fenner had eight tackles to finish the year with 92 on the year and 12 yards rushing on two carries. Jose Guzman had 10 yards rushing for one touchdown and two tackles David Rozier had four tackles and a forced fumble. Brandon Vannoy had one fumble recovery. Steve Williams had two tackles and a fumble recovery, also with tackles were Sam Allen, Isaiah Penley, Devin Lewis and Austin Dowell with one. The Longhorns also had dominant blocking from the offensive line of Brycen Norris, Bob Stout, Emory Wallace, Stevie Williams and Sam Allen.
Jr. Pee Wee Report
The Jr. Pee Wees had a great game in their ownright, as they also dominated the Johnson City Red team in a consolation game.
David Arnolds team has been making waves for several years, but they have never routed Johnson Citys elite team quite like this.
The Longhorns have an explosive offensive and they know how to hit.
Johnson City is always good, theyre always big and theyre always fast, Arnold said. We beat them first game of the season 20-13 so we knew it was going to be a real tough matchup.
Arnold was very proud of his group for getting the win.
Theyre all good kids that work really, really hard, he said. We had two practices a week with 25 players and the least amount we ever had was 23 and the ones who missed were sick. They love the game and if you love the game and work hard at it, youre going to be successful and this bunch is.
The coaching staff, which includes Arnold, Billy Icenhour, Dale Pope, Kevin Hampton, Brad Reece and Joe Herman, all had them ready.
This was probably the best game we had ever played, Arnold said. From special teams down to everything. We held them to two first downs in the first half, which I credit to Brad because he worked for two weeks on their offense and our offense we executed great. We recovered the onside kick to start the game and then Bud Icenhour took it 54 yards on the second play from scrimmage. We held them and then Nathan Arnold threw a pass to Sean Lewis for a touchdown. We got it back and scored again so it was 18-0 at halftime. I thought the key thing in the second half was when we went 60 yards and took seven minutes off the clock. We converted two fourth and sevens and we did that we were up 25-0 and that was pretty much game over.
Just like the middle school and Pee Wee groups, talent is abundant on this Jr. Pee Wee Team.
The future is bright for our high school, Arnold said. Theres a lot of talent. The nucleus of this team has been together since the first day of flag. They love the game and they love to play.
Jr. Pee Wee stats
he Johnson County Jr Pee Stats for playoff game Saturday against Johnson City Red
Bud Icenhour had 14 carries for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had an interception that he returned 85 yards for a touchdown and had 10 tackles. Quarterback Nathan Arnold was 4 for 4 passing on the day for 76 yards and a touchdown pass. He had 4 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown and had 3 tackles. Sean Lewis caught 4 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown and had 2 carries for 20 yards. Gage Hampton had 2 carries for 23 yards and had 1 tackle. Cole Snyder had 1 carry for 20 yards and 1 tackle. On the defense, Hayden Osborne and Tyler Norris had 4 tackles, A J Eller, Jimmy Bower and Nathan Lane with 3 tackles each, Zack Eller, Josh Herman, R J Snyder, Quinten McWherter, Luke Rash, Cody Jennings, Gavin Reece, Reise Stout all with 1 tackle. The offense line also had a good day blocking lead by Gabe Reece, Andrew Robinson, Tyler Norris, Zack Arnold, Hayden Osborne, Philip Dugger, Nate Shepherd, Eric Davis, Lincoln McIver, A J Eller and Reise Stout. The Jr Pees Wees finished the season with 8 wins and 2 losses finishing 2nd in the Eastern Division and 3rd overall.