After leading just 14-0 at halftime, the Yellow Jackets roared back with four touchdowns to rout Red Boiling Springs 42-0 on Friday night.
The win sets up a matchup next week between Trousdale County and reigning Class 1A state champion Nashville Christian with the region championship on the line.
Johnson was named interim coach last Friday after David Barker was suddenly fired amid an investigation into allegations of stealing gasoline from the county. That investigation remained ongoing as of Friday.
“It’s something we talked about all week,” Johnson said. “There was going to be some transition. Our kids, our coaches have been through a tough week.”
The Yellow Jackets (8-1, 6-1 5-1A) started off strong as quarterback Logan Hewitt, a transfer from RBS, broke through the defense and raced 67 yards for a touchdown midway through the opening quarter.
Keyvont Baines added a short TD run on the final play of the first quarter as the Jackets led 14-0.
Inconsistent offensive play plagued the Yellow Jackets in the second quarter, however, as the score remained 14-0 as both teams headed to the locker room.
“The first half started a little slow but we foresaw that, with some changes we had to make,” Johnson said. “We had some timing issues, some execution issues that we’re working through.”
In the third quarter, Baines took over at quarterback and helped give the Yellow Jackets a spark against the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-5).
“Keyvont’s a special player. Anytime he touches the football, he’s just a special guy,” Johnson said.
The sophomore found receiver Trace McGuire on a completion that turned into a 63-yard touchdown as McGuire outran the defense. The score provided some breathing room and gave the Yellow Jackets a 21-0 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter.
On the next possession, Trousdale’s offense marched downfield and capped the drive on a 2-yard run by Isiah Harper to make it 28-0.
The defense next got in on the scoring, as senior Colton Gammons intercepted a pass and returned it 42 yards to the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter. The pick-six gave the Jackets a 35-0 lead and instituted a running clock for the remainder of the game.
Harper would add a second short scoring run with two minutes remaining to cap the victory.
Trousdale Co. 42, Red Boiling Springs 0
RBS 0 0 0 0 - 0
TC 14 0 14 14 - 42
TC-Hewitt 67 run (Baines kick), 6:43.
TC-Baines 3 run (Baines kick), :00.
TC-McGuire 63 pass from Baines (Baines kick), 5:25.
TC-Harper 3 run (Baines kick), 1:05.
TC-Gammons 42 interception return (Baines kick), 11:48.
TC-Harper 2 run (Baines kick), 2:00.