Jr. Longhorns move to 8-0 by topping Unaka

from staff reports

  MOUNTAIN CITY--Twin brothers Dakota and Travis Grindstaff took care of the touchdowns -- and the defense took care of the rest as Johnson County won its closest game of the season Thursday night, 24-8 over Little Watauga Conference foe Unaka.
  Improving to 8-0, the Jr. Longhorns opened up an 8-0 first-quarter lead when Dakota Grindstaff struck for a 3-yard touchdown run, then Austin Phipps ran for a two-point conversion.
  With 1:27 to go in the first half Travis Grindstaff plunged into the end zone for a 4-yard TD run, and a conversion run by Jamie Lundy boosted the Johnson County advantage to 16-0.
  The Jr. 'Horns increased their lead to 24-0 in the third quarter as Dakota Grindstaff ran seven yards to paydirt, then Lundy galloped to another two-pointer.
  The Jr. Rangers, though, did their best to get back in the game, starting with a Jeff Peters 54-yard interception return for a TD at the 4:28 mark of the fourth quarter. Dustin Carden followed with a conversion run.
  Carden made another play when Johnson County went back on offense, picking off a Jr. Longhorn pass. From there a Peters 51-yard run took Unaka to the JC 13, but Jesse Poteet halted Unaka's comeback hopes with an interception of his own.
  It was homecoming for Johnson County, which was coming off a 60-20 win over Ashe County (N.C.). Dakota Grindstaff carried nine times for 55 yards and Travis Grindstaff six carries for 40 yards as the Jr. 'Horns totaled 128 yards on the ground.
  Phipps passed for 54 yards, with Jason Dugger and Poteet amassing 25 and 21 yards, respectively, of receiving. Michael Peterson had a fumble recovery for the baby steers.
  Chris Pierce and Adam Colbaugh played standout defensive games for Unaka (3-3), with Chad Odom recovering a fumble.
  Unaka had 156 yards on the ground and none through the air. Peters ran for 121 yards on 15 carries, and had 177 all-purpose yards.