BERNARDSVILLE, NJ - In their home opener, the Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders varsity football team dominated on the defensive side of the game and in their second game of the season, it carried with them.
After allowing one touchdown in the second quarter, their defense took control as the Crusaders defeated the Bernards High School Mountaineers by a final score of 38-7 Friday night in Bernardsville.
The Crusaders hauled in three interceptions from Bernards senior QB Lofton Hoover. Senior and co-captain Joe Turek, senior Mike Casalino and senior Jordan Fedak each caught a pass as the defense took over in the game.
On the offensive side of the game, Johnson wasted no time battling towards the end zone. After senior Lorenzo De Paz recovered an onside kick that set Johnson at the Bernards 42-yard line, they embarked on a drive that saw nine plays and 58 yards.
Turek capitalized for a one-yard rushing touchdown and following the extra point from Casalino, Johnson led 7-0.
The Crusaders added a field goal on their next drive from Casalino, a 33-yarder, making the score 10-0 Johnson after the first quarter.
Bernards threatened on a drive as the second quarter started, which ended with Turek’s interception. In the very first play of the next Crusaders drive, they made the Mountaineers pay for their turnover.
Junior Sebastian Iakouchevitch took the ball and eluded a series of defenders for an 80-yard rushing touchdown that got his team ahead 17-0. He finished with 151 rushing yards on the night with his touchdown.
Bernards got on the board with their next drive, senior Ethan Caldwell scoring on a seven-yard rushing touchdown to cut the lead to 17-7.
The Johnson running game struck yet again on the next drive. Senior Brandon Rapp took the ball and plowed his way up the field and charging to the end zone, a 40-yard rushing touchdown, making the score 24-7 Johnson, as they went into halftime.
Bernards began the second half with the ball, but on the third play of the drive, Hoover was intercepted by Casalino. Turek ended the drive with his second touchdown of the game, a 27-yard rushing touchdown, making the game 31-7 Johnson.
Turek ran the ball 13 times for 144 yards to go along with his two rushing touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter, Johnson added another touchdown, senior quarterback Mike Bruno cashed in for a one-yard rushing touchdown to end the scoring, making it 38-7 Johnson.
In addition to the field goal and interception, Casalino was 5-for-5 on extra points and made six touchbacks on kickoffs following the Crusaders’ scoring drives.
Johnson, as a team, ran the ball 38 times and collected 542 yards on the ground in the road victory.
The Johnson Crusaders (2-0) head back home to take on Roselle-Abraham Clark HS on Friday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m.
The Bernards Mountaineers (0-3) will head out on the road to play at Hillside HS on Saturday, September 23 at 1:00 p.m.