By Tim Chambers
They say that close only counts in horseshoes. Maybe they are right because it sure doesn’t hold water in football.
A total of nine measly points separates Johnson County from being undefeated at 3-0, but instead, they stand at 1-2 after Friday’s 14-8 loss at Chuckey-Doak.
It was a game that Chuckey-Doak completely dominated from a statistical standpoint, yet the Horns were on the verge of pulling out a dramatic victory.
They drove the ball down to the 30-yard line then got a nice run to the 16. While fighting to get some extra yards, they fumbled the football, and the Black Knights recovered. The fight was finished with just over six minutes remaining in the game.
Chuckey-Doak’s wildcat package that featured the strong running of Chris Cutshaw would run out the final six minutes with a ground-controlled offense.
It’s something that the Horns are lacking at the moment.
The Longhorns got a good defensive performance of eight tackles and a fumble recovery from sophomore Ethan Simcox. He said the loss was hard to swallow.
“We knew (31) Cutshaw was their good runner, so we tried to cover him all night,” said Icenhour. “The difference in the game was we didn’t win the first down plays. It’s very frustrating because we knew pretty much what they were trying to do. We gave up too many yards on first down. I thought that was the difference in the game.”
It definitely was the difference in Chuckey-Doak’s final possession.
Chris Cutshaw ripped off a 30-yard run just after the Longhorns had fumbled 16-yards away from scoring the go-ahead touchdown.
He ended the night with 150 yards on 28 carries. Several of those came on their final possession.
“We knew he was going to get the ball, and we prepared for it, but we didn’t take it as seriously as we should have,” said Joseph Fox who provided seven tackles. “We’ve got to get back on Monday to working hard and staying focused. We’ve got to play hard and play with all we’ve got. You can’t quit when you’ve got eight games left. We still have a lot of play for.”
Fox was correct.
The conference race is still up for grabs, and West Greene leads the way. The Buffaloes knocked off Claiborne on Friday and will face Johnson County on September 20 at home.
Center Connor McNutt knows this group will have a tough two weeks of practice. He feels like the focus will be on valuing the football.
“We’ve got to eliminate the mistakes, especially our fumbles,” said McNutt. “We changed some blocking stuff up at halftime, and I felt like that helped us move the football better. I’m sure they will correct things in the next two weeks of practice. We can play better than what we did out there tonight.”
Quarterback Stacy Greer didn’t sugarcoat things and took the bull by the horns while talking about the loss.
“We didn’t execute and made too many mistakes,” said Greer. “I didn’t do a good job of executing our offense, and that’s all on me. We’ve got two weeks to get ready, and a lot of the things we need to improve on are on my end. We’ve got to figure out how to pound the ball downfield without making mistakes. Then we can become a good football team.”