Vikings rout 'Horns for Big Eight crown

STAR Staff

   BRISTOL--Friday evening at the Stone Castle in Bristol, the Tennessee High Vikings defeated the Longhorns of Johnson County by the score of 42-0 for their second straight shutout and clinching the Big 8 conference crown.
   "We came out and we did some things offensively that we talked about all week long in our preparation for this game," said Tennessee High coach Greg Stubbs. "Defensively we wanted to come out and set the tone and I thought we did that."
   With five shutouts now on the season, the Vikings (9-0, 6-0) defense showed no mercy on the Longhorns (4-5, 3-3) as they allowed them just 84 yards of total offense in the game.
   "Some things we talked about during the week were setting the tempo and playing with some enthusiasm and intensity, I thought we did that in the first half," Stubbs said. "Going into the game we wanted a shutout, that was our goal."
   Tennessee High came out strong and dominated the Longhorns as they trotted 77 yards down the field and took an early 7-0 lead when senior quarterback Brad Deal took it in on the keeper from nine yards out.
   On the following possession Johnson County had the ball no more than one play as quarterback Adam Johnson fumbled on the Longhorns first play and turning the ball over to the Vikings on the seven yard line.
   Tennessee high capitalized on the turnover as running back Boodle Clark plowed through the Johnson County defense for a six yard touchdown run to give his team a 14-0 advantage with 6:07 remaining in the first quarter.
   After forcing the Longhorns to punt late in the quarter, the Vikings marched 67 yards for another score. This time from five yards out Deal collected his second touchdown of the night and giving Tennessee High a 21-0 lead with 10:39 remaining in the first half.
   The Vikings didn't stop there as their defense stepped it up even more as senior cornerback Billy Walden picked off a Johnson pass and returning the ball 37 yards for a touchdown.
   "We looked great," said Walden of his team. "We looked ten times better than we did last week. We stayed with our guys on our coverages."
   "We practices their V-cuts all week from the scouting report we had. I read the interceptions as soon as they went inside, I just dropped back and it was there."
   Just before halftime Tennessee High tacked on one more score to make it 35-0 as they recovered another Johnson County fumble and 20 yards later giving it to running back Josh Walden who scored from one yard out.
   When it seemed like things couldn't get any worse for Johnson County, the Vikings quickly put another score on the board when running back Matt Messer, who had carried the ball 13 times up to this point, finally took one in from two yards out and putting Tennessee High up 42-0.
   "We had good practices all week," said Messer. "We were a little upset last week, we thought we could have played a lot better but we came out and turned it on tonight."
   Johnson County threatened to spoil the shutout in the fourth quarter but Johnson couldn't complete a pass to wide receiver Jesse Cranford as the Longhorns turned the ball over on downs as Tennessee High secured the win and a 12 game winning streak at the stone castle dating back to the 1999 season.
   "Our seniors are a great bunch," said Stubbs of his captains. "I wouldn't trade them for anyone else's seniors. They're a hard working bunch of kids, they do what we ask them to do and they play hard. They're just a great bunch of young people."
   Offensively for the Vikings Messer rushed 16 times for 70 yards while teammate Clark carried the ball seven times for 54 yards.
   For the Longhorns Dunn led all rushers with 20 yards on seven attempts while Johnson passes for 23 yards with two completions to Cranford and Tommy Short.