What some prognosticators thought would be a tune-up game for Johnson County turned into an old-fashion fanny spanking delivered by Cloudland.
The Longhorns got taken to the woodshed in a 46-0 rout by the Highlanders.
It was a sweet win for the Blue and Gold who avenged last year’s 14-7 loss to the Horns on Orr Field on a last minute interception that was returned for a touchdown. This time the fat lady had already sang by halftime and put up her songbook.
Cloudland got on the board on their opening drive of the game that covered 53 yards in just nine plays. Hunter Blair’s 15-yard TD run made it 8-0 after Seth Birchfield’s 2-point conversion run.
The Highlanders’ defense stuffed Johnson County on two straight possessions and immediately found its way into the end zone for a second time.
Birchfield’s 1-yard run made it 14-0 with 11:57 remaining in the second quarter.
Cloudland continued its stingy defensive with one of two interceptions on the night. Tristan Lacy picked off a Stacy Greer pass and returned it to the Highlanders’ 32-yard line.
Hunter Shell fired a perfect strike to Bentley Gilbert on the very next play that resulted in a 32 yard touchdown pass. Lacy added the 2-point conversion for a 22-0 lead.
The Highlanders would get on the board one more time before the half ended. Colin Morgan picked off another pass by Greer giving the Landers great field position once again.
Shell would hook up with Gilbert for a second time for a 16-yard touchdown pass that allowed the Highlanders to lead 30-0 at the half.
The game went fast in the second half after Lacy scored on a 30 yard run and Blair added the conversion to make it 38-0. The clock ran continuously from 7:15 in the third quarter until the game was over.
The Highlanders final score came on a 13-yard touchdown run by Lacy with 9:54 remaining in the game. Shell threw to Gilbert for the 2-point conversion to close out Cloudland’s scoring.
Johnson County drove the ball on their final possession to the 1-yard line but Highlanders’ defense stopped them cold as time ran out.
It was another bright spot in head coach Scott Potter’s era who is now 3-1 since taking over at the midway point of the season. His defense limited the Horns to only 36 yards of total offense in the first half and they didn’t have a first down in the second half until 5:01 to go in the game.
Lacy had a big night with 101 yards rushing on 10 carries in addition to his two touchdowns. Birchfield rushed for 97 yards on 19 carries. Blair carried the bacon for 36 more. The Highlanders rushed for 247 yards on 42 carries.
Gilbert had two receptions for 48 yards and scored two touchdowns. Shell completed 3-of-6 passes for 61 yards and two scores.
Jed Childress led the defense with 10 tackles. Morgan added seven stops from his middle linebacker position.
The Highlanders now 4-5 overall will travel to Sullivan North next Friday to try and finish out the regular season on a winning note.
Kickoff for the Sullivan North contest will be at 7:30 pm.