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Johnson unleashes on Bears; Rose also wins

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D.H. Conley's CJ Johnson runs against Eastern Wayne on Sept. 28, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jordan Honeycutt
New Bern Sun Journal

Thursday, October 11, 2018

New Bern's football team was turning a corner on the season in many of the players' and coaches' minds leading up to Wednesday's conference clash with D.H. Conley.

The most turning that was done Wednesday was by Conley star C.J. Johnson who turned five plays into 30-plus yard touchdowns in a 47-14 Vikings rout in a game moved up two nights due to Hurricane Michael.

Johnson, an East Carolina commit, scored on an 80-yard rush, catches of 80 and 98 yards, a 62-yard fumble recovery and a 33-yard interception return for Conley (5-2, 3-0).

"Last game I dropped about four passes and so tonight, I told myself I wasn't dropping anything," Johnson said.

Conley led 20-6 with New Bern driving toward the end zone late in the first half. With one play left, the Bears ran an option play and fumbled the pitch, which Johnson scooped up and made it 27-6.

"That play just took the wind completely out of our sails," New Bern head coach Steve Tapley said. "I didn't think we were playing bad, a few mistakes up until that play. The kids tried to make something happen and anything can happen at that point. Just didn't go our way."

New Bern (2-4, 1-1) got the ball back to begin the second half and had a drive that stalled and turned into a punt which pinned Conley on its own 2-yard line. The very next play, Vikings' quarterback Nick Hamilton hit Johnson for the 98-yarder.

"We're working with our guys and being able to handle things that happen and make adjustments," Tapley said. "Most 14-, 15-, 16-year-old kids have to learn how to handle adversity and we're doing that."

Conley coach Nate Conner echoed Tapley's thoughts on the importance of the final first half play, just from a different perspective.

"If New Bern gets that play, then it's a one-possession game and a completely different game, so it was huge," Conner said. "I'm sure it was really frustrating for them because they had a good, long drive to get down there to have that chance. I told coach Tapley after the game, I think they have things going in the right direction over here."

J.H. ROSE 55, SOUTHERN WAYNE 0

J.H. Rose once again used an explosive offensive performance to top conference opponent Southern Wayne in a rout on Wednesday night.

The Rampants (5-2, 2-1) continued to utilize an effective mix of rushing by running back Grant Humphreys and air raid passing by quarterback Grant Jarman to lead 42-0 by halftime.

Five Rampants scored on the ground, including Humphreys and Brice Bizzell, who tallied two scores apiece. Humphreys’ 72-yard touchdown rush was the longest play of the night from scrimmage for Rose.

Bizzell got the scoring started early in the first quarter, capping off an efficient opening drive with a touchdown rush from five yards out.

Jarman and his brother, Wade, both joined in on the scoring as both tallied a rushing score. Wade also tossed a 40-yard pass that found the end zone.

Rose will begin preparing for a big in-county rivalry game with Conley next Friday which could have major implications in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference standings.

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