Hornets can’t complete second-half comeback against Johnson
S.A. Johnson 28
East Central 19
EAST CENTRAL -- After their big Thursday Night Lights win over Seguin, the Hornets of East Central were hoping to keep that proverbial ball rolling last Friday night as they welcomed the Johnson Jaguars to Hornet Stadium. Unfortunately for East Central, the Jags came in ready to fight, and held off the Hornets for a 28-19 victory.
The Jaguars scored their first touchdown of the game in the closing minutes of the first quarter, as Xavier McElhannon ran in from 3 yards out. Cohner Mokry later scored in the second quarter on a 1-yard run, and Chase Koll hauled in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Mokry just before halftime to give Johnson a 21-0 lead at the break.
East Central got on the board early in the second half as Chris Armstrong bolted 16 yards for the end zone. Blayne Sells added the extra point, and the score stood at 21-7 throughout the third quarter.
With 7:27 to play in the game, Vernest Dotson scored for East Central on a 5-yard passing play from Christian Jones. The point-after failed, but the Hornets were back in the game at 21-13.
The Hornets had a letdown, though, as Johnson’s Sean Stier took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown. The extra point then made it a 28-13 game.
The Hornets came right back on their next drive, as Jones connected with Dotson again, this time for 65 yards and the score. Another failed extra-point opportunity left the game at 28-19, a score that would prove final.
On paper, the Hornets actually performed better than the Jaguars in several areas. East Central earned 57 more total yards, including 22 extra yards on the ground and 35 through the air. The Hornets lost their one fumble, though, and were penalized seven times for a whopping 75 yards.
Armstrong led the running game with 110 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Edwin Dearring got 13 touches for 52 yards, and Latham Walleck had seven carries for 39.
Walleck completed just three of 11 passing attempts for 27 yards, while Christian Jones connected on three of five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Jones completed two of three passes for 15 yards.
Dotson was East Central’s leading receiver with 74 yards, followed by Dustin Toscano with 29.
The loss drops the Hornets to 1-3 on the year. East Central will face Victoria East this Saturday, Sept. 24, in Victoria for its final non-district game of the year. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.