By Tim Chambers
Andy Griffith was a hit show back in the 60’s that featured Don Knotts and Ronnie Howard as co-stars. Andy needed Barney just like he did Opie and Aunt Bee.
But the show wouldn’t have been what it was without all the other characters behind the scene.
Goober worked on cars and Floyd cut hair. Ellie ran the drugstore and they even had a preacher. Andy dated Helen and a few others and Barney had his time with Thelma Lou.
Even town drunk, Otis, was a character that stood out. So were the grouchy mayor, Clara, Howard, Ernest T. Bass, the Darlings and some others.
What’s all this got to do with football? It takes role people to make the stars stand out just like it did in Mayberry.
That’s what happened on Friday in Johnson County’s 21-20 victory over Northview Academy.
Hayden Osborne blocked a PAT that prevented Northview from tying the game, but Cameron Clawson deserves some credit. He almost got one the time before and forced Northview to make a mistake.
“I saw the outside man double down on me and I told Hayden to go get it,” said Clawson who contributed five tackles. “We almost got the one before and we figured out a few things. I wasn’t surprised when he got his hand on the football. I was more surprised that they didn’t try for a two-point conversion.”
Steven Osborne picked a great time to gather his first interception of the year. He was jumping around like a jack rabbit after the play, happy as a lark.
Josh Herman had a fumble recovery, caused one and broke up a couple of passes. He too spoiled one of the Cougars’ best drives.
“It’s all about making plays for the team,” said Herman. ”Everyone has a position that we play and we know what our responsibilities are. We didn’t give up a lot of big plays but they did get a few in the second half. We have to not let that happen against Austin-East. Everyone has to be ready to make big plays.”
Herman’s advice was well received.
Caden Arnold’s interception was definitely a back breaker for the Cougars on one drive. He doubles as a starting defensive back and backup running back.
“We had beaten them two years in a row and we’re a much better team now than last year,” said Caden. “I thought they were better last year so we had a lot of confidence going in. We all played for one another and knew our roles. We stepped up when we had to.”
None more than the offensive line led by Nate Shepherd and Jordan Edes-King.
“We had watched them on film and saw their linebackers liked to stunt,” said Shepherd. “We knew what was coming and used our skills and fundamentals that our coaches had taught us to open up holes. We played with a lot of confidence and we’re not afraid to sacrifice for one another.”
That’s evident when it comes to Edes-King. Nobody has sacrificed more with very little fanfare.
He took over last week as the starting offensive tackle after Tristan Dishman was lost for the season to an injury. He said it’s all about the team and winning.
“I hadn’t played there since middle school but I knew we needed help,” said Edes who was starting at defensive end and backup tight end. “You have to make sacrifices in order to win big games. My job as a leader is to help us win and I’ll do whatever I can to make it happen.”
So will Hunter Wright, Christian Krupsky, Dylan Shepherd, A.J. Eller, Tyrone McFadden, Curtis Lowe, Jimmy Bower, Sam Kerley and Will Kerley. That goes for Zack Eller, Bud Icenhour and Nathan Lane too. I’m sure there are others who play an important role.
These are the blue collar workers on the team that very few hear about but are so important. So are the ones that get and deserve the press.
“We are 11-0 and undefeated Johnson County. We are a good football team.”
In the words of Barney Fife, “Let’s nip it in the bud.”
Tim Chambers is the sports editor for the Tomahawk. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org