Yoakum can't keep pace with Gonzales
YOAKUM - Everybody in the stands Friday night knew how good Cecil Johnson was. If they didn't, they learned very quickly.
Johnson kept running the ball like he has all season to lead Gonzales to a 48-20 victory over Yoakum and record his seventh consecutive game of 200 rushing yards or more. Johnson currently leads the Crossroads area in rushing with 1,728 yards and 23 touchdowns after Friday night.
"The line is the big key for us on everything we do on offense," Johnson said after the game. "The holes were there and I was hitting them. Everything just seemed to go good rushing-wise and on offense."
In the first half alone, Johnson had 20 carries for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the night with 336 yards on 35 carries and five touchdowns.
"I didn't know that. All I knew was he was having a good night," Gonzales head coach Ricky Lock said. "Offensive line was doing an outstanding job, as well as the blockers on the edge. The field was not very good tonight, it was wet and muddy, so it's the not the perfect track for him. But we established our blocks at the line of scrimmage and ran the ball."
The Apaches' defense, who ranks first in district 26-3A with just 194.9 yards allowed per game, held Yoakum's potent offensive attack to just 267 yards of total offense.
"They have some weapons over here," Lock said. "We worked hard against midline and veer this week, but not so much on the jet sweep and that kind of hurt us tonight. Our defense played really well tonight."
Johnson set the tone early for the Apaches, running the ball nine times on the opening drive. He capped off the 12-play drive with a 10 yard touchdown run. Two possessions later, and with the score tied at 7-7, Johnson found the end zone on a busted play that became a 53 yard run off of a toss.
"It was actually a busted play," Johnson said. "He (Matthew Hillman) spun out the wrong way and he just pitched to me. Luckily, there happened to be a hole there and I just hit it."
The senior running back kept up his electrifying first half late in the second quarter when, on fourth and two, Johnson broke through the line and raced to a 40 yard touchdown.
The Apaches' rushing attack opened the door for their passing attack with quarterback Matthew Hillman completing just three passes, but tallied 138 yards and two touchdowns.
The first score through the air for Hillman came in the third quarter, when he faked the hand off to Johnson, rolled to his right and found Francisco Diaz for the 8 yard score. The second passing touchdown came on the next possession, less than three minutes later, when Darrance James got behind Yoakum's secondary and ran for the 60 yard touchdown.
"We knew the corner routes would work if we got behind them," Lock said. "We went to it twice and it was wide open."
Johnson scored two more times in the fourth quarter, on runs of 2 and 4 yards, to cap off Gonzales's 48-20 victory.
Yoakum did manage to keep things close in the first half, trailing by just seven points at the intermission.
Sophomore Tre'vontae Hights scored the first touchdown of the night for Yoakum with a 34 yard pass to Keith Ratley and fourth and seven early in the second quarter. Less than five minutes later, Blake McCracken found the end zone on a jet sweep to the left from 18 yards out that made the score 13-13.
"We were just trying to do what we normally do," Yoakum head coach Brent Kornegay said. "If we thought we could move the ball passing, we passed. I don't know the stats, but we were able to move the ball."
Gonzales would respond with a five-play drive that ended with Johnson's 40 yard touchdown run on fourth and two.
Johnson's 336 rushing yards was the most he's ran for in his career, but that isn't what kept his smile going.
"They're a long time rival who we've played since junior high," Johnson said. "We can say we won the last time we played them."