By Tim Chambers
Everyone expected the COVID 19 virus to affect high school football, but Johnson County could never envision being bit by the injury bug like they have.The Longhorns lost starter Nate Rice for the season, and now their backfield of Dalton Brown and Stacy Greer are banged up, and their status is a game-to-game decision.
Many will say that injuries are a part of football, but nobody expected the Horns to lose three top players right in the middle of a playoff run. Now they must try and mend the injured and find a way to win their final three games of the season. That’s a doable task with North Greene, Cloudland, and Unicoi County awaiting, but the final two games are on the road at a place where it’s tough to get a victory.
Happy Valley proved on Friday that one special, talented player can make a difference. Matthew Bahn carried the ball 41 times in the Warriors 30-16 win on Friday. What was more amazing is that Happy Valley only ran 47 offensive plays. The Warriors ran only six plays where Bahn didn’t touch the football, and three of those were at the end of the game after it had been decided. To make matters worse, Johnson County’s offense stalled without a healthy Brown or Greer on the field.
“It hurt us on both sides of the football,” said head coach Don Kerley.” Those two are a massive part of this football team.”
Nobody doubts that now. That why I said before the season started, whoever stays healthy could be the team to beat.The Longhorns still can make the playoff but will need some help to remain at home. They are in, but you don’t want to land in third or fourth place, and the second-place team up here will have its hands full in the first round.
The senior class will play what could be its final game on Friday night against North Greene. Fans shouldn’t let the opponent determine if they attend the game or not. This senior class has been through a lot, and they deserve a quality send-off. Fans are urged to come out and cheer the Horns on as they embark on trying to secure a home playoff game. Kickoff is set for 7:30 on Friday. Homecoming will take place at halftime of the game.