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Johnson does everything for Trojans in league win on the road

MT. GILEAD – It seemed like the Trojans’ gameplan against Mt. Gilead was concise.

Give the ball to Tyler Johnson.

Johnson, who is the quarterback, took direct snaps and ran, passed from the shotgun, kicked, returned kicks, played defense- and might have even served hot dogs at halftime – to lead Centerburg to the 28-14 KMAC League win over Mt. Gilead Friday on the Indians’ homecoming night.

Tyler Johnson (#7) running wild at Mt. Gilead

The senior play caller had 332 total yards and was most of the team’s offense, with the other major contributor being Caylan Lemaster, who ran 13 times for 71 yards.

Johnson took off on designed runs not only multiple times in the game, he sometimes did it three, four or five plays in a row. It worked.

“Just from watching film, we knew what we could do against them, so that was our gameplan. We planned to run the ball,” Johnson said after the game. “Other teams did, so that’s what we planned to do. That was our goal.”

Johnson and Lemaster both immediately jumped on the Indians defense and the two accounted for all but one of the plays in the opening drive, which culminated with a Lemaster one-yard scoring dive (VIDEO HERE).

The Trojans then extended that lead to 14-0 a few minutes later after a Mt. Gilead (4-2, 2-1) three-and-out.

It only took a couple of plays to set it up, and then Johnson threw to Mason Turske for a 40-yard score with around four minutes to go in the quarter and the game looked like a runaway.

The Indians then started to counter with its own 1-2 punch with quarterback Matt Bland and running back Garrett George, who was crowned homecoming king before the start of the game.

Bland got the Indians on the board when he had consecutive short running plays, then a 25-yard sprint, and finally a touchdown on a one-yard plunge toward the end of the first quarter.

Matt Bland (#7) of Mt. Gilead carrying the ball

But a good kick return by Lemaster led to a 38-yard scamper and score by Johnson and the Trojans (5-1, 2-0) went back up by double digits.

“They (Mt. Gilead) put a lot of people in the box which made it difficult to run the ball,” Johnson said. “They were playing so tight, that if you got man-on-man, you could just get by them and there’s no one else. There was just open field.”

The Indians continued to inch back into it in the second half after a nine-yard touchdown pass from Bland to George (VIDEO HERE), but then the Trojans defense started to clamp down.

Each team exchanged punts on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter until Centerburg ultimately sealed the game with a touchdown pass from Johnson to Tristin Hankinson and a game-ending interception by Jesse Rings.

Johnson, who had accounted for 20 touchdowns for the Trojans so far this season, passed for 144 yards, ran for 188 and had two more scores.

With the win, Centerburg stays atop the KMAC standings and is tied for the lead with Danville – which is the Trojans next opponent; in Danville.

Garrett George carrying the ball for the Indians in the first quarter

Mt. Gilead’s next game is at Northmor.

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