It was a tale of two halves for the Cloudland football team on Friday night.
The ‘Landers were unable to keep pace in the second half in a 35-8 decision to Johnson County on Homecoming at Orr Field. Cloudland falls to 5-3 on the season, while the Longhorns improved to 4-4.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the opening stages.
After Johnson County opened the scoring with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Conor Simcox to Ethan Bower, Cloudland quickly went to the work using the ground game. The ‘Landers found the end zone when Seth Birchfield crossed the goal line with a one-yard run.
CHS tied the game at 8-8 as Bentley Gilbert caught a Chase Shell pass in the end zone for the conversion.
The teams swapped punts going to the second quarter.
Cloudland had a lengthy drive come up short midway through the quarter as they were stopped on fourth-and-goal from just inside the 11.
The ‘Lander defense, however, kept Johnson County from moving the ball and forcing a punt, but Cloudland was unable to take advantage of great field advantage before the half.
Cloudland ran 32 plays in the first 24 minutes while limiting the Longhorns to just 12.
Johnson County slowly started taking control in the second half.
The Cloudland offense was limited despite a hard-fought effort, and the Longhorn offense was able to get something going.
The 8-8 stalemate was broken with just over five minutes left in the third quarter when Bower caught a 31-yard pass from Simcox to take a 14-8 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Johnson County added another Simcox to Bower score in the opening minutes before Bower added a pick-six to increase the lead to 28-6.
The ‘Lander offense was unable to gain any momentum in the final 12 minutes. Johnson County saw Sam Mann scored on a 12-yard run to cap all scoring.
Birchfield led Cloudland with 26 carries for 129 yards. Coy Laney added 36 yards to the Cloudland cause, while Shell finished with 54 passing yards.
Bower finished with four Johnson County touchdowns, while Simcox was 8-for-11 passing with 97 yards.
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