JOHNSONBURG – Otto-Eldred sophomore quarterback Dakota Vaughn set the tone early for the Terror (1-2) and scored all four touchdowns in a 26-13 win Friday night over the Johnsonburg Rams (0-3).
Vaughn surprised the Rams right from the get-go with a 63-yard pass play to sophomore halfback/cornerback Coy Hoffman to highlight a four-play, 76-yard drive. Vaughn broke the plane from a yard out to give the Terror an early 6-0 lead.
“They had the big pass play and that was huge, and very surprising,” said Johnsonburg head varsity football coach Jesse Schreiber. “We saw nothing like that on their films and I give their coaches credit on that play.
“Their coaches did their homework and changed their defensive look and caused a bit of confusion for our defensive line.”
However, the Rams immediately answered the call on the ensuing possession with a 70-yard drive with a bulk of the yards coming from junior wide receiver Frank Kocjancic. After the wideout ran for 10 yards for a first down, he later caught a 26-yard pass from junior quarterback Quinn Luhr to again move the chains.
Luhr eventually found Kocjancic in the end zone from 22 yards out on the seventh play of the drive to knot the score at 6-6.
Johnsonburg again had no answer for the Terror rushing attack as they rattled off an eight-play drive before Vaughn again dived in from a yard out to score and take a 12-6 lead before the end of the first quarter.
“Dakota Vaughn was able to get a lot of quarterback keepers inside for four or five yards because our defensive line was struggling a bit,” Schreiber said.
The Rams’ bad luck continued into the second quarter. After recovering a fumble on their own 6-yard line after Otto-Eldred senior halfback Lucas Kerr coughed up the ball after a 5-yard gain, Luhr was intercepted by Otto-Eldred sophomore halfback/safety Sam Colebert to give the Terror the ball on their own 38-yard line. Eight plays later, Vaughn was in the end zone again.
The drive was highlighted by an 18-yard pass from Vaughn to sophomore fullback Seth Bigley; on 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Vaughn rolled out to the right and strolled into the end zone unscathed for his third score. He then tacked on the extra point for a 19-6 advantage.
The Terror took advantage of another Luhr interception, the second for Colebert, as they marched 93 yards in just over three minutes before halftime.
Vaughn stomped 36 yards downfield on a quarterback keeper for the first down; a 14-yard trek from Kerr and 27-yard connection from Vaughn to Hoffman put the Terror in the red zone and in good position to score again.
Hoffman finished with 96 yards on four receptions.
An 8-yard Vaughn run was sandwiched between two incomplete passes to bring up 4th-and-2 from the 7-yard line but another Vaughn quarterback keeper gave the Terror three yards to move the chains.
A Bigley rush came up empty-handed and prompted Otto-Eldred’s final timeout of the half with 17 seconds on the board. Vaughn and Hoffman connected for a 2-yard gain, just two yards short of the goal, but the Terror got off one last play as Vaughn kept it up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown, his fourth of the game. A Colebert extra point gave the Terror a 26-6 halftime lead.
Vaughn would finish the game with 133 yards through the air and rushed 17 times for 87 yards, and four touchdowns. Of Otto-Eldred’s 359 yards, Vaughn accounted for 220 yards.
“They were able to run outside on us and that also killed us last week against Cameron County,” Schreiber said. “We were killed on the off-tackle plays and we knew Lucas Kerr was fast, especially on the outside, and we just did not contain the outside very well, and that continues to be a problem for us.
“We’ve been working on it since the beginning but it’s a mindset that we have that we’re crashing inside and getting sucked in.”
The Rams got back into the game early in the third quarter as despite excellent field position on their own 45-yard line, a 10-yard penalty plagued a potential Terror drive.
On 4th-and-12, a high snap sailed over Kerr’s head on the punt attempt; he took an 8-yard loss as the Rams took over on the Terror 35-yard line.
Johnsonburg took advantage of the short field and went the distance thanks to passes of 11 and 14 yards from Luhr to Kocjancic.
Luhr found senior wide receiver Kyle Sheldon in the front of the end zone as he dived in for the 10-yard touchdown catch. An extra point from senior running back/linebacker Michael Shuey cut the lead to 26-13 with 7:45 left on the clock but the Rams couldn’t get any closer.
Johnsonburg was hit with a 15-yard personal foul call to move the chains and the Terror rattled off eight straight rushing plays. Hoffman couldn’t get any yards on 4th-and-3 to turn the ball over on the Johnsonburg 25-yard line but the Terror burned valuable time off the clock.
After a 6-yard run from Johnsonburg senior running back Jaryd Servidea, the Rams were hit with a 10-yard holding to call to back them up to 2nd-and-14 on their own 21-yard line. A 15-yard keeper by Luhr moved the chains but after a 1-yard pass from Luhr to junior split end David Redmond, the junior quarterback coughed the ball up on a bad snap as Otto-Eldred senior guard/defensive end Dakota Lee recovered with 2:17 to go in the third quarter.
Vaughn was swiftly sacked on the first play of the drive by Johnsonburg defensive lineman Drew Lecker for a 5-yard pass and the Terror eventually went three-and-ou
t and had to punt.
The Rams took over on their own 23-yard line as play crossed over into the fourth quarter and took advantage of a 5-yard false start penalty on the Terror. On 3rd-and-2 from the 31-yard line, Luhr kept it for a 12-yard run to move the chains.
Luhr finished 10-for-17 through the air for 101 yards and two scores, and 27 yards on the ground.
More downhill rushes of seven and 10 yards from Servidea gave the Rams hope before he was stood up on 3rd-and-2 at the Terror 31-yard line with 8:34 to play.
“I thought Jaryd Servidea had an excellent game and ran well along with the offensive line,” Schreiber said.
On a fourth down play, Kocjancic caught a short pass but only made it a yard to turn the ball over on downs. The Rams continued to struggle making tackles on the first hit as Otto-Eldred ran the ball 12 times on the last 13 plays of the game.
“We haven’t been getting very many tackles on the first hit-- we tackle, we tackle, then we get a guy hurt,” Schreiber said. “We’re doing the tackling drills, we’re doing the things you need to do but we’re not finishing.
“It’s a tough one to lose. I give Otto-Eldred a lot of credit because they came to play.”
Otto-Eldred 12 14 0 0 - 26
Johnsonburg 6 0 7 0 - 13
O-E - Dakota Vaughn 1 run (Dillon Sutton run failed), 7:47, 6-0 O-E
J - Frank Kocjancic 22 pass from Quinn Luhr (Michael Shuey kick failed), 3:02, 6-6
O-E - Vaughn 1 run (Lucas Kerr run failed), 0:06, 12-6 O-E
O-E - Vaughn 3 run (Vaughn kick), 6:21, 19-6 O-E
O-E - Vaughn 2 run (Sam Colebert kick), 0:00, 26-6 O-E
J - Kyle Sheldon 10 pass from Luhr (Shuey kick), 7:45, 26-13 O-E
O-E Team stats JB
50-226 Rushes-yards 25-103
133 Passing yards 101
359 Total yards 204
2-1 Fumbles-lost 2-2
4-30 Penalties-yards 4-43
Passing: Otto-Eldred: Dakota Vaughn 7-13-133-0-0. Johnsonburg: Quinn Luhr: 10-17-101-2-2.
Rushing: Dakota Vaughn 17-87, Lucas Kerr 14-86, Sam Colebert 11-43, Nate Rodgers 6-10, Seth Bigley 1-0, Coy Hoffman 1-0. Johnsonburg: Jaryd Servidea 13-47, Quinn Luhr 5-27, Eric Bevacqua 3-11, Frank Kocjancic 1-10, Kyle Sheldon 3-8.
Receiving: Coy Hoffman 4-96, Seth Bigley 1-18, Seth Coscia 1-15, Sam Colebert 1-4. Johnsonburg: Frank Kocjancic 6-78, Kyle Sheldon 1-10, Shane Bickford 1-7, Troy Padasak 1-5, David Redmond 1-1.