Bryan Station's speed can give fans whiplash as they watch Ora "Bo" Johnson orchestrate a hurry-up offense and zip passes to fleet-footed receivers like Tequan Claitt, LaVelle Cloyd and C.J. Walker.
That was the case Friday night as Johnson threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns and No. 15 Bryan Station beat host Tates Creek 42-32 for its third win in a row in this cross-town rivalry.
But it was Bryan Station's speedy defense that really put the hurt on the Commodores. The Defenders, led by Shane Preston, Jesse Tudor and Jamaree Robertson, shut down Tates Creek during a 34-0 run by Bryan Station.
When the Defenders took a 34-3 lead late in the third quarter, they had outgained Tates Creek 309 yards to 73.
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"Our defense really flies around, hits hard and gets picks ... it's nice to see," Johnson said. "The defense is the reason we won this game."
Bryan Station's game plan was to put lots of heat on Tates Creek quarterback Graham Gordon. It executed that strategy to perfection for most of three quarters.
"He doesn't like pressure, so we came with it," Robertson said. "And it really slowed down their offense."
Defenders Coach Frank Parks said he used last week's open date to tweak his defense to help it play faster.
"That way we were able to pin our ears back and just play football," Parks said. "For the most part we did a good job doing that tonight."
Tates Creek showed plenty of fight and kept battling till the end. It finished strong and wound up with more than 300 yards. But it was too little too late.
Tates Creek's homecoming night started well. The Commodores' Taiwan Hart sacked Johnson for a 13-yard loss on the first play of the game, and Chaysen Smith intercepted a screen pass on the second play.
It was a sign of things to come, however, when Tates Creek couldn't convert the turnover into a TD. Instead, it had to settle for Jake Ryan's 37-yard field goal.
Two possessions later, the Commodores drove to the Bryan Station 5, but they couldn't crack the goal line in four tries.
"That was real big," Parks said of the goal-line stand. "It kinda set the tone."
Bryan Station had no trouble moving the ball with Johnson at the controls. The 6-foot-1 senior has now thrown for 1,293 yards and 16 TDs in four games.
His prime targets Friday night were Cloyd (five catches, 98 yards), Walker (four catches, 77 yards, one TD) and Claitt (four catches, 60 yards, two TDs).
K-CI Carmichael led the Bryan Station running attack with 59 yards on 17 carries.
Tates Creek's offense got in gear in the late going, helped in part by a rash of penalties against Bryan Station.
"Things got a little wild in the fourth quarter," Parks said. "Those things happen."
Johnson said the Defenders "got a little big-headed. We just gotta focus more the whole game."
Gordon threw for 259 yards and three TDs to lead Tates Creek's late flurry.
R.J Taylor had seven receptions for 123 yards and two scores, including a 73-yarder.
Austin Rogers had three grabs for 54 yards and a TD.
Casey Grimes ran for 52 yards and a score, and also had 52 yards receiving.
Max Sweet, Eamon Nasr and Grimes had eight tackles apiece for the Commodores.
Bryan Station 42, Tates Creek 32
Bryan Station 14 7 21 0—42
Tates Creek 3 0 14 15—32
TC—Jake Ryan 37 field goal. TC—Tequan Claitt 17 pass from Ora Johnson (Anthony Lopez kick). BS—Andre Davis 1 run (Lopez kick). BS—Claitt 15 pass from Johnson (Lopez kick). BS—Tequan Claitt 9 pass from Johnson (Lopez kick). BS—K-CI Carmichael 5 run (kick blocked). TC—Casey Grimes 4 run (run failed). BS—Glenn Spencer 53 kickoff return (Johnson run). TC—R.J. Taylor 73 pass from Graham Gordon (Taylor pass from Gordon). TC—Taylor 5 pass from Gordon (Ryan kick). TC—Austin Rogers 25 pass from Gordon (Marshall Gant pass from Gordon).
Records: Bryan Station 2-2; Tates Creek 4-2