JOHNSON CREEK — Seventh-ranked Johnson Creek dominated Deerfield from start to finish rolling to a lopsided 56-6 victory in the 2019 Trailways Small Conference opener played Friday at Glover Field.
The Bluejays (3-0 overall, 1-0 Trailways Small) came into the game ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Small Schools poll, and they showed the Demons (0-3, 0-1) why scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams.
Three turnovers and a blocked punt set up four of Johnson Creek’s five first-quarter scores.
“It seemed like one of those games where some things avalanched early,” said Deerfield coach Derek Sweger. “Before you know it, you’re reeling and you’re trying to catch your footing; against a good team like this it’s really hard.”
Johnson Creek ran just 17 offensive plays.
The Bluejays took the opening kickoff and needed just four plays to take a 7-0 lead, as senior quarterback Justin Swanson hit junior Wyatt Owen in stride for a 43-yard score.
The first of four turnovers came on the very next drive when Swanson snagged a third down Tyler Haak pass near midfield and returned it all the way to the 2-yard line. Swanson capped off the short drive with a quarterback sneak, and the Bluejays led 14-0 just 3 ½ minutes into the game.
A big special teams play set up Johnson Creek’s next score when junior Sam Toebe blocked Reily Bonjour’s punt giving the Bluejays possession at the Demons’ 25-yard line. Two plays later senior Alex Garza punched it in from 12 yards out and the Creek lead grew to 21-0.
“It certainly seemed like one of those games where everything that could go wrong did,” Sweger said.
Two more turnovers set up two more Johnson Creek touchdowns before the end of the first quarter. Swanson intercepted his second pass with a diving catch at the 20, and on the very next play hit Skylor Griffiths with an 80-yard strike.
The next turnover turned into a touchdown, when senior cornerback Sam Budig returned a fumble 57 yards for Johnson Creek’s fifth touchdown of the first quarter giving it a commanding 35-0 lead.
The Bluejays got another Budig TD on a 55-yard run early in the second quarter setting the halftime score at 42-0, leading to a running clock in the second half.
Johnson Creek out-gained Deerfield 282-196, led by Swanson’s 5-for-5, 143-yard passing night.
Deerfield avoided the shutout with a score late in the fourth quarter, when freshman Cal Fisher threw a 6-yard scoring pass to fellow freshman Tommy Lees at the 4:55 mark.
“It’s a game where you can’t control some of the bounces that happened, but I’ll tell you what: our kids kept going. We got punched in the mouth and were reeling, but even when we were reeling it wasn’t’ woe-is-me,’ it wasn’t ‘I feel really bad for myself.’ They just kept going against a dynamite football team,” said Sweger. “We hit them with both barrels but it wasn’t enough tonight.”
Fisher completed 4-of-9 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown all while playing the entire second half under center. Lees caught all four of those passes for 78 yards, while Haak rushed for 73 yards on 10 carries.
The Demons return to Trailways Small Conference play on Friday, Sept. 13 at Randolph. Kickoff against the Rockets (3-0) is 7 p.m.
JOHNSON CREEK 56
Deerfield 0 0 0 6 — 6
Johnson Creek 35 7 7 7 — 56
Johnson Creek — Owen 43 pass from Swanson (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Swanson 2 run (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Garza 12 run (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Griffiths 80 pass from Swanson (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Budig 57 fumble return (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Budig 55 run (Griffiths kick).
Johnson Creek — Pernat 82 interception return (Griffiths kick).
Deerfield — Lees 6 pass from Fisher (run failed).
Johnson Creek — Olszewski 85 kickoff return (Griffiths kick).
First Downs — D 10, JC 11. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — D 26-88, JC 12-139. Passing Yards — D 108, JC 143. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — D 9-21-3, JC 5-5-0. Fumbles-lost — D 1-1, JC 0-0. Penalties — D 4-25, JC 1-5.