Cloudland drops heartbreaker to Johnson County

Carter County Sports

In a battle of state-ranked teams, defense ruled the day at Orr Field.

Cloudland saw Johnson County take a 14-8 victory in nonconference play after the Longhorns returned an interception for a touchdown with 40 seconds remaining on Friday night.

The loss snaps a seven-game winning streak for Cloudland as CHS falls to 7-2 on the year, while Johnson County improved to 8-1.

In the early going, Cloudland had the momentum.

The ‘Landers marched inside the Longhorn 20, but was stopped on fourth down, but the CHS defense forced Johnson County off the field with a punt on the ensuing drive. JC’s Nathan Lane stopped the next Cloudland drive with an interception off a tip to set up Johnson County in great field position. However, Triston Lacy returned the favor with an interception of his own to set CHS up at their own 15.

Cloudland started another methodical march down the field that took nearly seven minutes off the clock before Jordan Coffey scored on a seven-yard run. Coffey added the two-point conversion as CHS took an 8-0 lead.

After forcing another quick Johnson County possession, the CHS offense marched the Johnson County 23, but was turned away on fourth down as Cloudland held an 8-0 lead at the break.

In the first half, Cloudland limited the Longhorns to just 12 offensive plays while running 39 plays of their own.

The tide started to turn towards the visitors in the third quarter.

After the Longhorns saw their opening drive stall deep inside Cloudland territory and a missed FG, the Johnson County defense forced a three-and-out on the next drive. That set-up the Longhorns in great field position and Lane took advantage as he scored on a three-yard run. The two-point conversion tied the game at 8-8 going to the fourth quarter.

The teams traded possessions for the first part of the fourth quarter. Cloudland looked to threaten with just under four minutes to play in the game, but a fumble at the Johnson County 24 stalled the drive. Cloudland saw the defense force a quick punt with 2:03 remaining in the game.

The ‘Landers moved the ball to near midfield, but Lane jumped in front of a CHS pass and raced 55 yards for the score to give the Longhorns the lead with 40.9 seconds remaining. After the conversion failed, Lane ended Cloudland’s comeback attempt with his third interception of the game to secure the win for Johnson County.

Coffey finished the game with 26 carries for 170 yards to pace Cloudland. Lane account for 80 of Johnson County’s 95 offensive yards and also had three interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Cloudland will wrap up the 2018 regular season at Copper Basin before opening the Class A playoffs on Nov. 2.

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