High School Football

Johnson leads Lafayette over Henry Clay 14-0

Lafayette's Bubba Johnson (5) was brought down by Henry Clay's Hagan Bradley in the first quarter. Johnson, returning from an Achilles injury, ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns.
Lafayette's Bubba Johnson (5) was brought down by Henry Clay's Hagan Bradley in the first quarter. Johnson, returning from an Achilles injury, ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns.

Bubba's back.

Bubba Johnson, who missed the previous game because of a strained Achilles, ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns Friday night as Lafayette spoiled Henry Clay's homecoming, 14-0.

Johnson also recovered a fumble to set up the clinching touchdown drive.

"I got banged up a little bit, but I had to play through it," said Johnson, who carried the ball 29 times and also caught a 19-yard pass. "My team needed me."

The Generals (4-2) won their third game in a row. They lead the city's oldest rivalry 34-31-2.

Johnson's fumble recovery was one of two Henry Clay turnovers in the red zone.

Jason Ferguson, who led Lafayette with six tackles, picked off a third-quarter pass in the end zone. Chris Oldham backed up Ferguson with five tackles, including a sack.

"I love those guys," Coach Carl Hayden said of his defense. "It's easy for us to go for it on offensive plays when our defense is playing as well as they have tonight."

Henry Clay (1-5) was shut out for the first time this season.

Lafayette led 7-0 at halftime, getting a 3-yard touchdown from Johnson with 8:41 left in the second quarter.

The score, on fourth-and-two, came on the 10th play after Andy Hampton recovered a fumble — the first of four Henry Clay turnovers — on the Devils' 40-yard line.

"My coach told me I'm a leader on the team, so I had to make a big play right then and there," said Johnson, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior. "I set the mood right there. I want to give it to my line, my receivers and everybody. They were doing a great job of blocking, and I seen the hole and I hit it."

Johnson also converted a fourth-and-one play on the drive, gaining 4 yards to the 27.

"This is their team and we have to let them feel like they have ownership — putting them in a position where we put it on their shoulders," Hayden said of going for it on fourth downs. "They can learn from it and get better."

Henry Clay got as close as the Lafayette 11-yard line before Ferguson's third-quarter interception, and was on the 11 again when Johnson made his fumble recovery with 7:41 left in the game.

"Two turnovers inside the 20-yard line, inside the red zone — you don't do that," Blue Devils Coach Sam Simpson said. "If you do that against a team that has the weapons that they have and things like that, you set yourself up.

"I thought our defense played a good ball game tonight. ... The offense, we didn't play well. We sputtered. We made mistakes. Golly, we had a couple chances."

After Johnson's recovery, Lafayette drove 95 yards in 11 plays. Six of those were Johnson runs, including a fourth-and-two burst for 7 yards to the 5. He scored on the next play, with 3:04 left.

"We stripped it and I got the ball," Johnson said of his recovery. "From there, my setting was just all the way up. I had to keep going. I had to."

His score was Lafayette's second in as many red-zone chances in the game, and the 17th in 19 tries all season.

Meanwhile, the Generals held Henry Clay to 137 yards of total offense. Lafayette totaled 242.

Henry Clay's Davion Jackson ran 21 times for 102 of his team's 118 rushing yards.

Hagan Bradley led Blue Devil tacklers with eight. Cole McCarty had six, including one for a loss.

"Congratulations to Lafayette," Simpson said. "I think that running back, Bubba, is a good running back. I know he played a little hurt tonight, but he's a tough kid. ...

"We're still trying to define ourselves a little bit and we're still looking for people to step up and make plays, especially on the offensive side of the ball."

Lafayette 0 7 0 7—14

Henry Clay 0 0 0 0—0

L—Bubba Johnson 3 run (Nathan Gillespie kick); L—Johnson 5 run (Gillespie kick).

Records—Lafayette 4-2; Henry Clay 1-5.

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