High school football: FB Johnson leads Zama to first victory
TOKYO — Where Zama and ASIJ were concerned on Saturday, one conclusion was invariable — one of the winless football teams had to get well.
Fullback Chris Johnson saw to it that it was Zama American, as he ran 18 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns, and the Trojans held off a fourth-quarter rally for a 22-18 victory over ASIJ at Mustang Valley.
“It feels good to get that first win,” said coach Ron Geist, whose Trojans (1-3) lost by wide margins their first two games before losing by two points to Robert D. Edgren on Sept. 18.
That game, Geist said, laid the foundation for Saturday’s victory.
“We were able to establish our ground game and had an offensive plan to build around,” he said.
That plan centered around Johnson, who has rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns on 35 carries in his last six quarters.
“Chris came through for us, big time,” Geist said.
He ran for first-half touchdowns of 21 and 12 yards, offsetting a 17-yard TD pass from Shawn Seevers to Kahn Fukui, making the halftime score 14-6 Zama. Quincy Howard threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Miguel Vega, and Johnson’s two-point conversion run capped Zama’s scoring in the third.
ASIJ answered back on Scott Bolling’s 75-yard kickoff return, and Seevers cut it to four points with a 22-yard TD pass to Rafai Eddy. But it was as close as the Mustangs (0-3) would get.
Geist expressed hope that the first victory would lead to more. “That would be our goal,” he said.
As for the Mustangs, they’ve been close in two of their games, losing 28-21 to Edgren and Saturday’s contest.
“We almost pulled it out,” defensive coordinator John Seevers said. “We’re battling. We’re kind of young [but] we’re coming on all right.”