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With 30 seconds left in the game, first year head coach Jason Roquemore made the call of a lifetime: Go for two. There would be no overtime.
Johnson had just scored its third touchdown of the game and was down 21-20 to East Hall. The decision paid off as Cedric Harris crossed the goal line and Johnson won 22-21 to spoil East Hall’s homecoming.
The second half was full of excitement after a first half that ended scoreless. Defense dominated, but both offenses would come alive in the second half.
East Hall (2-2) began the second-half fireworks when Edward Vergara scored on a 5-yard run.
Johnson (3-2) responded with a 63-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dre Johnson to tie the score 7-7. The drive included a 30-yard pass completion on fourth-and-12 to Jamison Owens off of a tipped ball.
East Hall ended the third quarter with a 34-yard pass from Zach Groover to Milton Whelchel as time expired to go up 14-7.
The Vikings took control of the game with 8:29 in the fourth quarter when Dre Brawner ran in for a 2-yard touchdown and East Hall went up 21-7.
However, Johnson responded with its best drive of the night. The Knights drove 76 yards on 14 plays and scored on fourth-and-goal with a 1-yard run by Dre Johnson with 1:43 remaining in the game.
Johnson went for an onside kick which was recovered by A.J. Millwood on the 48-yard line. Harris went to work and rushed 24 yards in three plays to the 24-yard line.
After one failed pass, the Knights tried again, and this time Dre Johnson connected with Jamison Owens for a 24-yard touchdown.
Johnson did not hesitate to go for the two-point conversion instead of the PAT.
“We had already decided that we were going to punch it in if we got the onside kick and scored,” Roquemore said.
After being held to 13 yards rushing in the first half, Harris added 77 yards in the second half to lead Johnson with 90 yards. Though Johnson only threw the ball three times in the game, Owens caught two for 54 yards.
Dre Brawner led East Hall in rushing with 82 yards, including a 56-yard run in the fourth quarter, and Milton Whelchel caught two passes for 56 yards. Vikings quarterback Zach Groover was 4 for 6 passing for 112 yards.
Johnson has next week off before playing Chestatee at home Oct. 5.
East Hall falls (0-1 in Region 7-AAA) and plays at White County next Friday in an important region contest.