JC’s Ryan Morefield (27) loses his helmet, trying to tackle HV’s Landon Babb. Morefield had a team-high eight tackles for the night. Photos by Joey Icenhour
Johnson County 10, Happy Valley 30
By Tim Chambers
Johnson County came into Friday’s game with Happy Valley on a super high, having knocked off state-ranked Claiborne County in the previous week. The Warriors weren’t phased as they bounced the Horns in superball-like fashion 30-16 in a game where they completely dominated.
Matthew Bahn was a one-man show for the Warriors carrying the ball 41 times for 233 yards and four touchdowns. Bahn looked like a man among boys running the ball wherever he pleased all night long. And the Warriors defense led by defensive lineman Kamden Richardson.
“I didn’t think we played well at all,” said Johnson County’s head coach Don Kerley. “We are banged up right now pretty bad and with school being out and that we just never could get going.”
That wasn’t the case for the Warriors who got going early. They pinned the Horns on their own 2-yard line to start the game on a kickoff that went between the two receivers. Cayden Campbell recorded a safety to put Happy Valley in front 2-0 by tackling running back Corie Neeley in the end zone. Johnson County’s offense sputtered the entire first half, but the defense was there to assist them. Neeley picked off a pass and took it to the house for a 77-yard touchdown to put the Longhorns up 6-2. The lead wouldn’t last long because Happy Valley would answer. Eli Ayers found Bahn over the middle for a 67-yard touchdown pass at the Warriors went back on top 10-6.
Johnson County had a chance to run out the clock and go in down by four at halftime but elected to put the ball in the air on their own 12-yard line inside the final minute. They would turn that into a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Ayers with 03 seconds remaining the half. Happy Valley led 22-6 at the break. The Warriors looked to put the game away in the third quarter and did so with another score. Bahn broke off a 37-yard run that led to his 26-yard touchdown run that put them on top 30-6.
The Warriors, however, answered as Eli Ayers hit Bahn for a 67-yard touchdown to give HV the lead. On the ensuing Happy Valley drive, the Warriors saw Ayers sneak into the endzone for the touchdown – a play that was set-up by a long Bahn run. Late in the second quarter, Logan Groom set-up an Andrew Little touchdown with an interception to take a 22-6 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Gabe Nickles nabbed an interception for the Warriors deep in HV territory, but Johnson County forced a safety a couple of players later.After the Warriors forced a quick punt, Bahn broke free for a 27-yard touchdown to give HV a 30-8 advantage. Johnson County was able to add a late touchdown with a Dalton Brown 24-yard run, but the Warrior offense was able to run the clock, and the HV defense stifled the Longhorns.
Johnson County’s final score came on a 22-yard touchdown reception by Ethan Bower from Connor Simcox. Bahn finished with 41 carries for 233 carries and four touchdowns. Brown had 83 yards rushing for the Longhorns. Ethan Bower caught three passes for 78 yards. Ryan Morefield, Javier Buenfi, and Neely led the defense with eight tackles each. Ethan Woody and Joseph Gambill contributed seven apiece.
The Longhorns, now 3-4, will host North Greene on Friday at 7:30 pm. It will be a homecoming and senior night inside of Paul McEwen Stadium.