KINGSPORT — Johnson County’s Longhorns pushed favored Sullivan North to the limit Friday night, finally bowing 36-28 in a Three Rivers Conference football game.
The teams scored in seven-point clusters, with wingback Kairi Thompson leading the charge for North with 115 yards on 15 carries and Johnson County quarterback Warren Kerley completing 10 of 13 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns.
The Longhorns, taking the battle to North, scored on the opening drive for a 7-0 lead as Kerley threw a 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Mahla.
North bounced back for a 22-7 lead on Eric Smith’s 16-yard run with a blocked punt, Jacoby Thompson’s 7-yard TD run and Cory Rowe’s 10-yard TD keeper.
However, the Longhorns refused to buckle and traded blow for blow with the Raiders the rest of the way.
Smith made 19 tackles for North, just missing the school record.
North limited Patrick South, the No. 2 rusher in the conference, to 51 yards on 21 carries. Jordan Grubb managed to pick up 43 on eight runs.
Rowe and Jacob Jasper gave North a strong 2-3 punch behind Kairi Thompson wtih 88 yards on 88 carries and 42 yards on 10 runs, respectively.
Watauga, N.C. 8
ELIZABETHTON — Ethan Thomas ran for 139 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown as the Cyclones won the out-of-state matchup with the Pioneers.
Terrence Turner added 108 yards on nine carries and a touchdown on a 42-yard run.
Luke Blanton, Zach Moore and Jacob Woodby also scored rushing TDs for Elizabethton, while Christian Glover returned a fumble recovery 10 yards for another score.
Happy Valley 42
Sullivan East 6
BLUFF CITY — Phillip Garland rushed for 232 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries to lead the Warriors to the Three Rivers Conference win over the Patriots. Colton Haun added a three-yard touchdown run and completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Marlowe as Happy Valley built a 35-0 halftime lead and cruised to the victory.
Stephen Barnette finished the game’s first drive on a 35-yard touchdown run after a score by Garland was called back. It didn’t slow down Garland, who had a pair of 66-yard touchdown runs. The Patriots avoided the shutout with a late score in the fourth quarter.
ROAN MOUNTAIN — Taylor Whitehead rushed 25 times for 206 yards and scored four touchdowns to lead the Highlanders to the Mountain East Conference victory over the Eagles.
Quarterback Jeffrey Rhinehart added 14 carries for 130 yards, and accounted for the other Cloudland touchdown with a 23-yard scoring strike to Austin Whitehead. Mason Carnett led the defense with 10 tackles and Nick Johnson came up with two interceptions.
North Greene 20
ELIZABETHTON — The Bulldogs rallied in the second half, putting up 27 third-quarter points, including two touchdown runs by Chris Ellis for the Mountain East Conference win against the Huskies.
Hampton’s Lane Smith scored on two interception returns and fired a 64-yard score to Mark Ailport. B.J. Taylor added a scoring run for the ’Dogs.
North Greene took the lead just before halftime when D.J. Triplett scored on a 67-yard screen pass from Tanner O’Laughlin. Triplett also had a 46-yard TD run, while Mason Early scored on an 89-yard play after catching a short pass from O’Laughlin.
West Greene 0
GREENEVILLE — The Greene Devils look like the defending state champions they are in the rout of the Buffaloes.
Tanner Stewart passed for a touchdown and ran for two more, and Quan Wilson ran in a pair as Greeneville racked up 394 total yards, while limiting West Greene to 67.
The Greene Devils led 20-0 after the first quarter and 41-0 at the break. Wilson, who carried 11 times for 80 yards, ran in both of his scores, while Stewart connected with Trevor Wright on a 15-yard pass. Tyrus Rollins and Stewart added running TDs in the first half, while Zack Finchum connected with Andrew Houston on a 31-yard pass play for another score.
In the second half, Marshall Brown returned an interception 64 yards for a scored and Stewart ran in another.
Finchum went 7-for-12 passing for 101 yards and ran five times for 64 yards. Stewart completed 3-of-5 for 30 yards, and added 28 rushing yards on seven carries. Trevor Wright caught three passes for 48 yards.