'Horns taste defeat for first time

star staff

  The words of coach Mike Atwood say it all: "We got our butts kicked."
  From the looks of things Friday night, the Johnson County Longhorns have a lot of work to do if they want to make the playoffs this year.
  Holding penalties and the inability to score inside the red zone led to the 10th-ranked 'Horns' first defeat of the season, 14-6, at the hands of the Daniel Boone Trailblazers.
  The Blazer defense beat up on Division One prospect Jon Stout and the Johnson County line in the first half, while its offense controlled the clock at Hale Stadium.
  "We never did stop the dive and we didn't score with the ball inside the 10 three times," Atwood said. "We killed ourselves, especially with the holding penalties. We got our butts kicked. Our line didn't play well tonight."
  "You never like a game like this," he said. "Maybe this will make us look at things."
  Longhorn tailback T.R. Smith can keep his hopes of the 1,000-yard mark another week.
  Smith was held to 24 of his team-high 74 rushing yards in the first half.
  "We knew they'd do that," Atwood said of Boone's defense. "They had nine or 10 in the box and shut us down. They outplayed us tonight and they deserved to win."
  Daniel Boone looked like a more effective running team during the game. Led by tailback Sky Hicks, who gained 124 yards on 24 carries, Boone gained 215 yards on the ground.
  The story of the game, however, was defense.
  On the ground, Johnson County had success with an end-around to Jesse Atwood, who tallied 55 yards rushing, but even that didn't work in the second half.
  "Coming in we knew we had to stop (their rushing game)," said Boone first-year coach Jeremy Jenkins. "Our defense -- what a game! Our kids sucked it up and made the plays. We needed this one bad. It puts us back in the conference race."
  There were a few bright spots in Longhorn land Friday night.
  Quarterback Jesse Jenkins looked solid for the most part with 117 yards on a 9-of-19 effort through the air, while Boone's 1,000-yard passer Ben Fox was held to 37 yards with an interception to Nathan Paisley.
  The 'Blazers set the pace of the game with their first drive, which went 78 yards to paydirt.
  Frye and Zak Julian ran the ball efficiently down the field for Boone, which also saw two big pass completions before Frye blasted up the middle for a three-yard score.
  The squad had another successful drive in the second quarter, with gains of 33 and 17 from Frye moving the chains. Ben Fox kept the ball for a one-yard plunge to give Boone a 14-0 lead at the half.
  In the second half, Boone held Johnson County inside the 20 four times, and inside the 10 three times.
  The 'Horns were held at the 9 and the 4 without points.
  However, a fumble gave the team good field position at the 20. A pass interference penalty set up a 10-yard score from Smith, but a failed conversion made it an eight-point game.
  The 'Horns forced a punt on Boone's final drive, but couldn't capitalize offensively with three incomplete passes sealing their fate during the game.