By Tim Chambers
ELIZABETHTON—Johnson County’s marquee matchup with T.A. Dugger got a little one-sided by halftime on Thursday afternoon at Rider Field. The Cyclones built a 28-0 lead at intermission and ended with a 42-8 victory over the Middle School Longhorns.
It was an impressive performance by TAD who ran their season record to 2-0, but not all was lost for Johnson County in their season opener.
The Longhorns played much better in the second half but a penalty and missed block cost them a couple of scores. Head Coach Devin Shaw expects to see his squad give a much better performance on Tuesday against E.B. Stanley out of Abingdon, Virginia.
“We had a hard time getting anything going,” said Shaw. “They were big and athletic and when we did make some big plays we botched those up with a penalty. I’m expecting us to play better on Tuesday. We missed one block on the kicker that cost us a touchdown and Stacey Greer had a long touchdown run called back. I thought our kids fought hard and played well in the second half. It could have been closer had we got going early and not made the mistakes that we did.”
Johnson County’s defense stood firm on TAD’s first possession but were unable to move the football after stopping them on a fourth down and seven. All that came to a halt on the Cyclones next possession.
Bryson Rollins reeled off a 16-yard touchdown run with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter. Kade Hensley’s PAT gave them a 7-0 lead.
It didn’t get any better for the Longhorns. Their second possession totaled three plays before giving the football back to ‘Betsy.
The Cyclones took only five plays to go 52 yards in getting their second score. Braiden Holly found pay dirt from 24-yards out on a quarterback keep, giving the Cyclones a 14-0 lead after Hensley’s point after.
Trying to get yardage against the Cyclones’ defense proved harder than trying to get a Christmas gift from Ebenezer Scrooge for Johnson County.
The Cyclones ended the first half with two late touchdowns that came during the final two minutes.
Deuce Morton provided a 4-yard touchdown run with 2:29 remaining in the half. Parker Hughes reeled off a 7-yard run with .51 seconds showing after a long punt return by T.J. Little.
The Longhorns showed some fight in the second half but a penalty cost them their biggest highlight of the evening.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.