November 9th, 2019

DeSales Advances in Playoffs


Ed Peak

Staff Writer

DeSales Advances in Playoffs
Colts advance in playoffs/ photo by Ed Peak

James Johnson couldn't be stopped. His DeSales teammates couldn't be stopped either. The host Colts rolled to a big lead early and dominated in a 49-7 win over Western Hills in the first round of the Class 3-A playoffs on a cold chilly Friday night.

Johnson scored five touchdowns on runs of 47, 33, two and 10 yards. Johnson caught a pass from quarterback Demarcus Avery and zigzagged his way for a 42 yard score. All in the first quarter.


It was the first time a DeSales player scored five touchdowns in a game since Nathan Roush, September 27, 2013, in a 55-7 win over Bardstown.


Demetri Scott deflected a pass from Western Hills quarterback Dylan Engler and Mekhi Lewis intercepted around the 22. Lewis headed toward the end zone where he lateraled the ball to Scott inside the five for the touchdown.


DeSales led 40-0 with 20 seconds left in the first quarter and the mercy rule with a running clock was put into effect by the officials.


The Colts (8-3) ranked third in Class 3-A by the Associated Press had its six game winning streak stopped last week in a 14-10 loss at Meade County.


"We knew this game meant a lot," said Johnson who finished with four carries for 92 yards and one pass reception for 42 yards. Johnson said this wasn't the first time he had five touchdowns in a game. Playing for the Highview Mustangs in a youth league he had five.


"We just put that game (Meade County) behind us and moved on to the next one," said Johnson. "I just did what I do and that's run the ball. My running backs coach told me to just keep running the ball, keep running. We stayed focused the whole game."


DeSales wasn't finished. In the second quarter Scott tackled Engler in the end zone for a two point safety. Avery finished the Colts scoring with a nifty nine yard touchdown run with over seven minutes in the quarter.


DeSales' first two scores were setup when Blake Givens recovered his own onside kicks. Johnson scored on the first play from scrimmage both times.


"Blake is so good at doing that," said DeSales coach Harold Davis. "There aren't a lot of kickers that can do that. They didn't adjust after the first one and we did it again."


Western Hills (3-8) lost its last four games by a combined 181-20 which included a 48-13 loss to DeSales on October 18. The Wolverines scored early in the fourth quarter when junior Jason Rogers ran 15 yards for a touchdown.


"We came out, handled business from the start," said senior lineman Dejuan Watkins. "We punched them in the mouth and wanted to keep them down. We really wanted a shoutout but we can't blame those younger guys because they did about as much as we wanted them too."


Davis was happy with the victory. "We didn't play well last week and we talked about that pretty much all week. We talked about respecting who ever you play. We said 'we need to worry about us right now'. We need to get back on track like we should be. They seemed like they were more focused or refocused. 


"That was a lot of points In the first quarter. I was pleased with the way we stayed focused even with the young guys."


The DeSales offense had 237 yards in the first half while its defense held the Wolverines to a minus 18 yards offense and three first downs. DeSales played all reserves in the second half. 


"I was proud of all of them," said Davis. "Defensively Dejuan Watkins played really, really well inside. He's so quick. We started overwhelming them."


The Colts played without junior quarterback Jayden Scorggins who sustained a concussion last week. Several other starters were out but should be ready next week according to Davis. 


DeSales advances to host eighth ranked Christian Academy (7-4) a 34-14 winner over Mercer County, next Friday. The Colts edged CAL 35-28 in double overtime on October 11. 


"We're going to come ready to play no matter who we play," said Watkins. "Its another obstacle in our way."



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