GREENCASTLE — For three quarters, Greencastle-Antrim gave unbeaten West Perry all the Mustangs could handle Friday night at Kaley Field.
In the end, the best player on the field proved to be the difference.
Kenyon Johnson was nothing short of sensational, scoring six total touchdowns – including three in the fourth quarter – to lift West Perry to a 56-32 Mid-Penn Colonial Division varsity football victory.
The Blue Devils (1-3) cut their deficit to 35-32 to start the fourth, proving more than up to the task against the high-powered Mustangs (4-0).
Down the stretch, G-A was just simply unable to get a critical stop, resulting in the Mustangs pulling away late.
"I loved our effort, we battled and left it all on the field," Greencastle coach Devin McCauley said. "Johnson is a very good player, and hats off to them. We showed signs of turning the corner. We're going in the right direction."
– Lined up in various spots, Johnson rushed for 217 yards, passed for another 134 and returned the opening kickoff almost 100 yards for a score to immediately set the tone.
The West Perry senior showcased all the skills – speed, power and knowledge of the game. Whether calling the offense, or getting the defense set up from his linebacker spot, Johnson demanded attention.
With G-A well within striking distance to begin the fourth, Johnson flattened a defender for 23 yards before ripping off a 22-yard touchdown around the edge, pushing West Perry's margin back to 10. He added scoring runs of 4 and 24 yards, respectively, in the closing quarter to seal the win.
In the first half, he ran back the opening kickoff while notching rushing touchdowns of 7 and 40 yards.
– Although in defeat, the Blue Devils have plenty of positives to take away from Friday night.
David Niebauer was again tremendous, rushing for 154 yards and a touchdown. On the opening drive of the third quarter, the sophomore accounted for 65 of G-A's 79 yards, carrying 11 times. His patience continues to be impressive, and his 35 carries exemplifies his workload.
– G-A's Adam Root had one of the best plays you'll see, totaling 74 yards on a reception that featured a slew of broken tackles. After catching a short pass over the middle, Root displayed awesome determination to set the Blue Devils up with first-and-goal late in the third. Two plays later, Niebauer scored to make it 35-32.
– Zach Cole finished with 180 passing yards for G-A, including touchdown passes to Root and Isaiah Toney-Mayhugh.
– Blue Devil kicker Nathan Kirkwood drilled field goal attempts of 41 and 44 yards, respectively, in the first half. Kirkwood has shown a big leg early this season, and that was again the case Friday night.
– Toney-Mayhugh found the end zone twice for Greencastle, once on a rush and another on a nice reception.
– G-A's Robert McCune recovered a pair of first-half fumbles, with West Perry turning it over four times in the opening two quarters.
– Adam Thoman and Tad Ziegler added rushing touchdowns for the Mustangs.
NEXT: G-A travels to Dillsburg for a Colonial Division game against Northern York.
Contact Ben Destefan at firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-762-2151 or on Twitter: @bdestefan_RH