Johnson sets career high in PNG’s victory

Published 1:12 am Saturday, October 1, 2016

By Daucy Crizer

The News correspondent

BAYTOWN — Sophomore Roschon Johnson passed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns to lead Port Neches-Groves to a worry-free 48-16 win over Baytown Lee in District 22-5A action Friday night at Stallworth Stadium.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Johnson completed 14 of 18 passes for 304 yards, a career high in yards, and had scoring strikes of 36, 46, 51 and 54 yards. 

Preston Riggs was his favorite target as Riggs hauled in five passes for a game-high 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Johnson also added a 2-yard touchdown run among his four carries for 18 yards.

“I was really proud of our defense,” said PNG head coach Brandon Faircloth. “Going against the Slot-T offense can be really difficult. I thought our defense did a good job of getting some stops on third and fourth downs and getting the ball back for our offense.

“I thought our offensive line did a good job tonight, protecting Roschon and with the running game. I was really proud of them.”

PNG (5-0, 3-0) amassed 463 yards of total offense, 304 passing and 159 rushing. Preston Hughes led the ground attack with 127 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. The Indians defense limited the Ganders to 250 yards of total offense, 33 passing and 217 rushing.

“They [Lee] were playing zero coverage so they kind of forced us to,” said Faircloth on the number of passing plays to start the game. “The plan is to do whatever they let us to do. They were forcing us to throw the football because of coverages. We just took what they gave us.”

Already leading 27-0, PNG received the kickoff to start the third quarter and wasted little time in adding to its lead. On the first snap of the second half, Johnson hit Riggs on a swing pass that went for 46 yards and a touchdown to extend the lead to 34-0 with 11:39 left in the third quarter.

The Indians padded the lead further on their next possession. Preston Hughes started the drive with runs of three and nine yards. Johnson then hit Riley Andrews for a 51-yard scoring strike to push the lead to 41-0 midway through the third quarter.

Lee (1-5, 0-4) finally got on the scoreboard late in the third quarter. The Ganders rushed the ball 13 straight plays, but the drive stalled at the PNG 14. That set up an Omar Hernandez 30-yard field goal to make the score 41-3 with 0:22 left in the quarter.

The Indians scored for the final time early in the fourth quarter. Johnson hit Riggs on the same swing pass as earlier, this time the scoring strike covered 54 yards to make the score 48-3 with 11:43 left in the game.

The Ganders responded with a scoring drive of their own. D.J. Riley started the drive with a 17-yard run. Quarterback Skyler Stewart hit Montrel Motton for a 30-yard completion to the PNG 28. Riley capped the quick three-play drive with a 28-yard touchdown scamper to make the score 48-10.

Lee closed out the scoring late in the fourth quarter. Jonathan Ernest capped a 10-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:28 remaining. The extra point was no good to make the final score 48-16.

“We’ll need another good week of practice because Vidor is a great team and coach [Jeff] Mathews does a good job. They will be ready to play,” said Faircloth of next week’s matchup. “Those guys are tough on us. It should be a great game.”

Lee won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. After a 12-yard run Jaylen Johnson on the game’s first offensive play, the Indians defense stiffened up and forced a punt three plays later.

PNG wasted little time in getting on the board on its first possession. Johnson hit Riggs for a 12-yard completion on the first play. Hughes went virtually untouched for a 55-yard touchdown run on the Indians second play from scrimmage for a quick 7-0 lead.

After forcing the Ganders in to a three-and-out on their next possession, the Indians picked up right where they left off. Taking over at the 50, PNG used a six-play drive, culminated by a Johnson 2-yard run to push the lead to 14-0 with 4:47 left in the first quarter. Hughes had runs of 8 and 12 yards, the second of which gave the Indians first-and-goal at the 2.

PNG threatened to score on its third possession, which was set up by a Jacob Vaughan interception. They drove all the way down to the Gander 16. Johnson had an 11-yard run and then connected with Dylan McGough for an 11-yard completion on third-and-10 to the Lee 24 to keep the drive alive. On second-and-two from the 16, McZeal fumbled the pitch from Johnson, which was recovered by the Ganders.

The Indians defense was again up to the challenge, forcing another Lee three-and-out. After both teams exchanged punts. PNG went back to work on offense with a quick strike on the drive’s first play. Johnson hit McZeal for a 36-yard scoring strike to give the Indians a 21-0 lead with 5:26 left in the second quarter.

PNG closed out the first half scoring on its next possession. Johnson hit Riggs for a 15-yard completion to put the ball at the Lee 36. Johnson connected with Andrew Hebert for a 15-yard completion to the 18. Johnson completed a third straight pass, this one to McZeal for 15 yards to the 3. Hughes scored on the next play for a 3-yard TD run to cap the seven-play, 57-yard drive. The extra point was blocked to make the halftime score 27-0.

Riley led the Ganders’ ground attack with 124 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown. Ernest added 45 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown. Stewart completed 2-of-3 passes for 33 yards.