East Ridge Defeats Central, 48-34, Behind Johnson

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - by Joseph Dycus

Keanu Johnson may have been dogged by a nagging injury, but a visibly-hobbled Johnson was still explosive enough to pull away from an eager Chattanooga Central defense. Operating as a wingback in East Ridge’s double-wing offense, the talented tailback torched Central all night long during East Ridge’s 48-34 win over the visiting Pounders. 

Late in the third quarter, the Pioneer offense was faced with a rare third and long. Faced with this obstacle, East Ridge decided to give the ball to its best player. Keanu Johnson took the handoff following some elaborate faking and twirling from his quarterback Cameron Sanders. Johnson, and accelerated into the green grass ahead of him. Roaming to his right, the standout ball-carrier didn’t stop running until he settled down in the endzone, some 53 yards away. 

Plays such as that were commonplace on the night. Benefiting from stellar blocking from stalwart left-tackle Shane Alford and the rest of  his offensive line,  Johnson ran with aplomb, gaining 256 yards and four scores using a mere 17 totes. His quarterback chipped in with 104 more, and the team as a whole gained over 500 yards on the ground. 

East Ridge took a commanding 21 point lead in the first half by holding the Pounders scoreless. Two short Johnson scores and one Jaylen Boykins touchdown produced that score. While the Chattanooga Central offense failed to move the ball until Connor Tyler replaced regular starter Kevlin Mcghee. However, it took until the second half for Central’s spread attack to find it’s footing in East Ridge. 

If the first half was the East Ridge show, then the second half gave both teams equal spotlight. After Boykin strutted in for another score, the Pounders pounced on a loose ball in the endzone for their first points of the game. They then recovered the ensuing kickoff when East Ridge mishandled the ball. After Johnson’s blistering run on third down, the Pioneers appeared to ice the game with a 37 yard whirly-bird special from Sanders.   

Central refused to lay down and die though. Freshman revelation Donovan Smith took the proceeding kickoff nearly 100 yards for the score, and then tailback Michael Watson showed off some slippery moves of his own en-route to a 29 yard touchdown. On the score, he broke left, and seemingly coated with butter, slipped off of several tacklers with little effort. 

Momentum was stopped soon after, when Pioneer cornerback Dejuan Morris jumped a route and picked off Tyler’s deep pass. Johnson put the proverbial nail in Central’s coffin on a 66 yard jaunt into the endzone, somehow outrunning the entire pioneer defense clearly being hobbled. Chattanooga Central added one final score via a Tyler to Donovan Smith touchdown pass, and that sequence essentially ended the game.

Scoring Summary

CHATT CENTRAL          0    0    14    20  --   34

EAST RIDGE               14    7    14    14  --   48


First Quarter

ER – Keanu Johnson 1 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

ER – Jaylen Boykin 13 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

Second Quarter

ER – Keanu Johnson 4 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

Third Quarter

ER – Jaylen Boykin 13 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

CC – Defense 1 Fumble Recovery ( Jameson Willard kick)

CC – Connor Tyler 4 pass to Michael Watson ( Jameson Willard kick)

ER – Keanu Johnson 53 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

Fourth Quarter

ER – Cameron Sanders 37 run ( Caleb Serrato kick)

CC – Donovan Smith 100 Kick Off Return

CC – Michael Watson 29 run

ER – Keanu Johnson 66 run

CC – Connor Tyler 27 pass to Donovan Smith ( 2pt conversion good)



                                                CHATT CENTRAL             EAST RIDGE

First Downs                                      N/A                             N/A

Rushes/Yards                               14-109                           51-494

Passing                                       21-43-211                       1-2-4

Total Yards                                      303                              498

Fumbles/Lost                                   1-1                               0-0

Punts                                               N/A                               N/A

Penalties                                        11-115                             14-140



Rushing – ER: Keanu Johnson: 17-256-4, Jaylen Boykin: 12-84-2, Cameron Sanders: 11-104-1, Tyi Mosely: 9-47, Dejuan Morris: 2-3

Rushing – CC: Michael Watson: 5-32-1, Donovan Smith: 1-27, Noah Collins: 3-17, Hunter Jones: 3-17, Connor Tyler: 1-9, Kevlin Mcghee: 1-7 

Passing – ER: Cameron Sanders: 1-2-4

Passing – CC: Tyler Connors: 15-29-129-2, Kevlin Mcghee: 6-14-82

Receiving – ER: Keanu Johnson: 1-4

Receiving – CC: Donovan Smith: 6-76-1, Michael Watson: 5-71-1, Chris Kouris: 2-28, Marquis Ray: 1-15, Noah Collins: 3-9, Hunter Jones 1-8, Jailon Jackson 1-4




P REP FOOTBALL (R) = Region Contest FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 MBA (5-3, 3-1) at Baylor (7-1, 3-1) Bradley (6-2, 4-1) at Soddy Daisy (5-3, 2-0) Notre Dame (2-6, 1-4) at Boyd-Buchanan ... (click for more)

TSSAA State Volleyball Tournament Schedule and Results (All time s shown as Eastern) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 Class 1A (at Blackman High School) Summertown 3, Sale Creek 0 (25-14, ... (click for more)

*Send your updated schedules and results to chattanooganscores@gmail.com. All times listed as Eastern TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 - RESULTS Region 3-1A Semifinals Signal 8 Huntland ... (click for more)

Prep Sports


P REP FOOTBALL (R) = Region Contest FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25 MBA (5-3, 3-1) at Baylor (7-1, 3-1) Bradley (6-2, 4-1) at Soddy Daisy (5-3, 2-0) Notre Dame (2-6, 1-4) at Boyd-Buchanan (7-1, 3-1) (R) Tyner (5-3, 3-0) at Brainerd (0-8, 0-4) Hixson (1-7, 1-3) at Central (1-7, 1-4) (R) Knox Webb (3-4, 2-2) at CCS (4-3, 3-1) (R) Cleveland (3-5, 1-3) at William Blount ... (click for more)


TSSAA State Volleyball Tournament Schedule and Results (All time s shown as Eastern) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22 Class 1A (at Blackman High School) Summertown 3, Sale Creek 0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-14) 7:30 pm: Sale Creek (26-17) vs. Halls (29-11) Class 2A (at MTSU, Murphy Center) East Hamilton 3, Anderson Co. 2 (15-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-18, 16-14) Portland 3, East ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Brothers Who Promised 1,000 Jobs In Bledsoe County And Did Not Deliver Now Face Federal Fraud Charges

Two brothers who in 2017 pledged to build a textile plant in economically distressed Bledsoe County that would provide 1,000 jobs have been indicted by federal authorities on a variety of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering charges. Governor Bill Haslam had been among those attending the announcement at Pikeville by Karim and Rahim Sadruddin. Prosecutor Steve Neff ... (click for more)

ATM Leader Says Market Center, The Maclellan Should Give Up PILOT Tax Break Agreements

The head of the citizen watchdog group, Accountability for Taxpayer Money (ATM), says both the Market Center and the The Maclellan apartment building should give up their PILOT tax break agreements. Helens Burns Sharp noted that both have changed their business models and now include short-term rentals. Ms. Sharp sent an email to members of the board of the city's Health Educational ... (click for more)


The Wheel Tax Wouldn't Be A Sacrifice And Supports Our Teachers - And Response (9)

I appreciate our underpaid teachers here in Tennessee so much. We as a whole have a moral obligation to make sure we contribute to their pay. A wheel tax on our cars is a minimal expense to most of us. Sixty dollars is not enough for us to complain. We shouldn't even bat an eye at that if it contributes to the hard working teachers who sacrifice daily for our children. We ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Me & Eric Trump

One summer’s day when I was in my early teens, I was walking home from swimming practice and decided I might stop by the house of the most beautiful girl my age that I had ever seen, which was about halfway between the pool and where I grew up. Told she was at the house next door; I went to find her and was confronted with something I had never experienced. She was being playfully ... (click for more)