If there was any questions if C.A. Johnson had lost its resolve after a disheartening loss last week, the Green Hornets delivered the answer Thursday night at Bolden Stadium.
Tyrick Adamson ran in a 2-point conversion early in the fourth quarter and C.A. Johnson sweated out an 8-7 victory against Blackville-Hilda.
The Green Hornets, already assured of its first winning season since 1986, improves to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in Region 4A. They will play host to Hunter-Kinard-Tyler next week with second place on the line and a possible home playoff game. The victory against the Hawks ensures C.A. Johnson will make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
All this came on the heels of a 48-point loss to Williston-Elko.
"We did team-building stuff during the summer and it helped pay off after something like that happened last week." C.A. Johnson coach Jerry Jackson said. "We told them to let that game go and you can see they took that to heart. We are where we need to play."
Wasted opportunities were washed away when Jonathan Goodman led a 12-play, 80-yard march to the winning score. The Green Hornets trailed 7-0 at the half on a 62-yard punt return by Larry Johnson, but had a chance to tie the score just before the break. But a fumble inside the 10-yard line in the final minute thwarted that opportunity.
However, Goodman was at his best on the game-winning drive. The junior got things going on an 18-yard scramble on third-and-12 to move the chains. He hit Kendele Wilson for a 6-yard gain on the next play before running for another first down on a third-and-1 play from the 45-yard line. He connected again with Wilson for a 36-yard gain to move the ball inside the Blackville-Hilda 20-yard line.
The Green Hornets turned a first-and-goal from the 3-yard line into a fourth-and-goal situation when Goodman hit Wilson on a hitch route at the pylon for the score.
Jackson said C.A. Johnson hadn't kicked a point-after all year and he knew to give it to Adamson on the 2-point conversion.
"We have to work on so many things, and kicking is something you need a guy that can work on it by himself and we just don't have that right now," Jenkins said. "We haven't kicked one all year. I have complete confidence in putting the ball in Tyrick's hands in that situation."
Goodman ran for 135 yards and threw for another 47. Three of his four completions came in the second half.
C.A. Johnson forced a punt with 4:24 remaining and looked like it was going to be able to run the clock out before a couple of freakish plays decided the outcome. With a little over a minute remaining, Adamson converted a fourth-and-1 from the Hawks' 36 yard line but was stripped of the ball by Jevon Dukes, who raced 46 yards to give Blackville-Hilda hope with 1:08 remaining.
On the next play, Freddie Glover broke free in the end zone but had the pass bounce off his helmet. On fourth-and-1, Adamson, Charles Anderson and Ben Jones led a charge that stopped the Hawks about six inches from a first down.
"Those guys gave a Herculean effort on that play," Jackson said. "It's our time. We played with a swagger and we believed at the end even after the fumble. Those guys made a play when it was needed."
B-H 0 7 0 0 - 7
CAJ 0 0 0 8 - 8
B-H - Larry Johnson 62 punt return (Kenny Utz kick) 2:54
CAJ - Kendele Wilson 4 pass from Jonathan Goodman (Tyrick Adamson run) 9:03