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Tomahawk talk: Longhorns relying on “long” plays

JCMS’ Isaiah Wills #23 was one of few bright spots for the in their 32-8 loss to Unaka.He rushed for 73 yards and recorded seven tackles. Photo by Tim Chambers

By Tim Chambers
Tomahawk Sports Editor
[email protected]

What a difference three weeks has made since the season opener at Sullivan East. The Longhorns won the game 14-0 by displaying a style of football that fans had seen in previous years. They had two, second half drives that ate up almost 17 minutes total. One produced a touchdown while the other drive ended with a fumble at the one. That wasn’t the case in a loss to Hampton that left a sour taste in their mouths. It all started in the fourth quarter on a 57-yard touchdown pass from Troy Arnold to Nathan Lane. Zack Eller also had a touchdown pass catch for 20 yards. The running game that looked so good at times at Sullivan East was no longer there.

The Longhorns went from hitting singles to knocking the ball out of the park. They scored 43 points on Chuckey-Doak thanks in part to some heavy hitters. Eller had a 40-yard TD reception and returned a punt back 85 yards for another score.
Lane scored four times including a 94-yard kickoff return and a 40-yard pass reception. It continued over last week after some more smash mouth football at Sullivan Central. Troy Arnold led a second half comeback that allowed the Horns to escape with a victory.

Arnold ran for 120 yards that helped set up two scores. Lane added another punt return for a touchdown. It was another chapter of big plays on Friday against West Greene. Lane returned an interception for an 86-yard touchdown and later broke free for a 55-yard score. Eller returned a punt 76 yards for a score. He also had two interceptions for the second week in a row.

Tyler Norris has been the heavy hitter for the Horns on defense. He currently has logged 80 tackles in five games and five sacks. Johnson County’s depth has been a huge factor in their last three wins. The Longhorns will have two weeks to prepare for their trip to Claiborne County. The Bulldogs lost at home to Unicoi County 42-13 allowing 343 yards rushing to the Blue Devils.

Kody Lewis rushed for 216 yards on 15 carries including two long touchdown runs. Can Johnson County keep hitting the long ball two weeks from now? We will see on September 29.

Middle School Horns get hammered
Unaka handed JCMS a 32-8 defeat on Tuesday at Goddard Field. Landon Ramsey threw three touchdown passes to Joez Blamo of 80, 40 and 20 yards to lead the way. Trevor Yates added a pair of touchdown runs.
Isaiah Willis and Nick Speed played well for the Longhorns in a losing cause.

Prayers needed
Gavin Harkleroad, the talented junior receiver who caught a touchdown pass against Johnson County two week ago needs our prayers. Gavin was injured on Friday night and had to undergo emergency surgery.

Horns move up onespot to No. 7
Johnson County moved up one spot in this week’s Associated Press Class 3A poll. Alcoa remains at No. 1 after their big win over No. 1 Maryville of 6A two weeks ago.

Class 3A

School Record Pts
1. Alcoa (15) 5-0 150
2. Covington 5-0 134
3. Red Bank 4-0 121
4. Upperman 5-0 94
5. Fairview 4-1 91
6. East Nashville 5-0 77
7. Johnson Co. 4-1 53
8. Pearl-Cohn 3-2 52
9. York Inst. 4-0 28
10. Austin-East 2-2 22

NOTE: Elizabethton is ranked No. 3 in 4A while Greeneville remains at No. 1. Cloudland is ranked No. 6 in the Class A poll.
Three locals teams are ranked in Class 5A. Crockett is No. 5, Tennessee High sets at No. 8 and Boone rounds out the poll as the 10th ranked squad.