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MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. –– A strong start by Grayson County was worn down by the relentless ground attack of Johnson County, and the Blue Devils dropped a 26-10 nondistrict decision to the Longhorns Friday in the mountains of East Tennessee.
Grayson County (1-1) was on the board just moments into the game when Max Rodgers called his own number and plunged across from the 2-yard line, with William Peters’ PAT giving the Blue Devils a quick 7-0 lead.
Johnson County (1-1) answered with a 6-yard scoring run by Jordan Grubb, but the PAT attempt failed and the Blue Devils maintained a 7-6 lead.
Peters added to the Grayson lead with a 28-yard field goal for a 10-6 advantage at 2:52 of the first quarter, but the Blue Devil offense wouldn’t find the end zone again the rest of the night.
Johnson County took the lead for good with 44 seconds remaining in the first quarter when Patrick South scored on a 45-yard run.
The two-point attempt failed, but Johnson County was in front to stay.
The Longhorns scored just before the half to take a 20-10 lead into intermission. Grubb capped the Johnson County drive with a 5-yard scoring run, and South added the two-point conversion run to give the Longhorns a 10-point lead heading into the break.
Johnson County was frugal with its passing game but made the most of its opportunities, with Warren Kerley completing 7-of-12 attempts for 131 yards. He connected with Greg Roark on a 10-yard scoring toss late in the third quarter to boost the Longhorns to the final 16-point advantage.
Otherwise, the two teams traded fruitless offensive possessions, each taking turns stopping the other inside the red zone.
Johnson County outgained Grayson County 355-225 in total offense, with the Longhorns rushing 50 times for 224 yards.
Rodgers was 11-of-25 passing for 107 yards, with Ty Cannaday catching five passes for 44 yards. Rodgers carried 13 times for 69 yards and John Bilbrey added 49 yards on 12 rushing attempts.
South and Grubb carried the load for the Longhorns. South had 22 rushing attempts for 111 yards while Grubb added 19 carries for 88 yards.
Grayson County will play in a different state for the third straight week Friday when the Blue Devils travel to Rural Retreat.
Johnson Co. 26, Grayson Co. 10
Grayson County...........10 0 0 0––10
Johnson Co., Tenn.......12 8 6 0––26
GC–Rodgers 2 run (Peters kick) 11:45
JC–Grubb 6 run (kick failed) 8:00
GC–Peters 28 FG, 2:52
JC–South 45 run (run failed) 0:44
JC–Grubb 5 run (South run) 0:13
JC–Roark 10 pass from Kerley (run failed) 4:31
First downs 13 12
Rushes-yards 25-118 50-224
Yards passing 107 131
Comp-Att-Int 11-25-1 7-12-0
Return yards 110 74
Punts-average 4-45.0 2-28.0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 9-75 5-45
RUSHING—Grayson County, Rodgers 13-69, Bilbrey 12-49. Johnson County, South 22-111, Grubb 19-88, Kerley 7-21, Phillips 1-3.
PASSING–Grayson County, Rodgers 11-25-1-107. Johnson County, Kerley 7-12-0-131.
RECEIVING–Grayson County, Cannaday 5-44, Bilbrey 2-26, Williams 2-14, Lundy 1-15, Osborne 1-4. Johnson County, Roark 5-116, Grubb 1-9, Billingsley 1-6.