Big first half carries Broncos past defending state champs

By Dave Wagner

FLOYD — Floyd’s Bryan Johnson didn’t have a particularly good second half throwing the ball Saturday, going just 2-for-11.
It didn’t really matter, though — the senior quarterback went 7-for-7 in the first half, including three for scores, and the Broncos cruised past defending six-man state champion Tatum 59-20.
Junior running back Jerrod Long rushed for 227 yards and four scores for Floyd (2-0). Long also caught a pair of TD tosses from Johnson, including one for the only score for either side after halftime.
“We just did what we do in practice,” said Johnson, who also returned a first-quarter interception 45 yards for a TD. “But in the second half we wanted to ‘45’ them (end the game on the state’s 45-point lead rule after halftime in six-man games), and I guess the pressure got to us.”
Johnson’s 9-for-20 effort overall accounted for 166 yards passing. In addition to the TD passes to Long, he threw scoring strikes of 16 and five yards to junior Kyle Kropf in the second quarter.
He said the elusive Long made his job easy.
“I love that guy,” Johnson said. “He just did what he does best — shake and bake.”
Long intercepted a pass on the game’s first play from scrimmage, then ran 48 yards for a touchdown on the very next play as the Broncos quickly established control.
“He’s a tough one to prepare for — him and (Melrose’s) Carlos Ruiz are both something because they can do so many things,” Floyd coach Jeff Gillespie said. “And I thought BJ (Johnson) played awesome at quarterback.”
“Offensively we executed well, except for the second half, and defensively we played well.”
Down 32-0, the Coyotes tried to make a game of it, scoring all of their points in the second quarter. Alberto Castro threw TD passes of 24 yards to Leo Gonzales and Obie Palacios, while Michael Garcia hauled in Logan Henderson’s pass tipped by Long in the secondary on a 61-yard scoring play.
“We started off great,” Gillespie said. “We kind of let up in the second half. We didn’t finish it early the way we should have.”
Tatum coach Jarrod Sower said the Coyotes are in a bit of a rebuilding mode, having graduated several key players from last year’s unbeaten squad.
He also noted that several key players, including Castro and Palacios, missed time during the game after getting dinged up.
“We weren’t focused on the bus coming over here,” Sower said. “But there’s no excuses; Floyd played a good game.
“We proposed to the kids at halftime that we wanted to finish the game, and we did that.”
Most of what damage the Coyotes did came through the air. But the Broncos turned three interceptions of Castro — one each by Long, Johnson and Kropf — into points and were never seriously threatened.
In the junior high preliminary game, Tatum defeated Floyd 58-40.

Floyd 59, Tatum 20
Tatum 0 20 0 0 — 20
Floyd 28 25 6 0 — 59
Scoring summary
First quarter
F — Jerrod Long 48-yard run (Jason Martinez kick)
F — Bryan Johnson 45-yard interception return (Martinez kick)
F — Long 2-yard run (kick blocked)
F — Long 4-yard run (kick failed)
Second quarter
F — Long 10-yard pass from Johnson (kick blocked)
T — Leo Gonzales 24-yard pass from Alberto Castro (kick failed)
F — Kyle Kropf 16-yard pass from Long (Jonathan Mitchell pass from Long)
T — Obie Palacios 42-yard pass from Alb. Castro (kick blocked)
F — Kropf 5-yard pass from Johnson (kick blocked)
T — Michael Garcia 61-yard pass from Logan Henderson (Alb. Castro kick)
F — Long 3-yard run (kick failed)
Third quarter
F — Long 8-yard pass from Johnson (kick failed)
Team statistics
Tat Flo
First downs 5 9
Rushes-yards 24-24 24-242
Passing yards 225 166
Total yards 249 408
Comp-att-int 15-30-3 12-28-0
Punts 5-25.0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 4-2 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-46 3-20
Individual statistics
RUSHING — Tatum, Alb. Castro 11-18, Alex Castro 3-10, Matt Norton 4-7, Obie Palacios 6-minus 11. Floyd, Long 21-227, Manny Carrillo 1-16, Martinez 2-minus 1.
PASSING — Tatum, Alb. Castro 8-19-3-60, Palacios 6-8-0-104, Logan Henderson 1-3-0-61. Floyd, Johnson 9-20-0-105, Long 3-8-0-61.
RECEIVING — Tatum, Gonzales 3-36, Garcia 2-88, Palacios 2-48, Alex Castro 2-17, Alb. Castro 2-16, Henderson 2-10, Norton 1-13, Trent Hemann 1-minus 3. Floyd, Long 3-29, Brad Lee 2-44, Johnson 2-38, Martinez 2-23, Kropf 2-21, Jonathon Chavez 1-11.