Johnson's 3 TDs, defense helps Elks past Joshua
Jaylen Johnson scored on three straight possessions Friday, compiling 191 yards on eight receptions to carry Burleson past Joshua, 45-3, at Owl Stadium.
Burleson (3-2, 2-0 in District 9-5A) has won four straight meetings in the series with Joshua (1-4, 0-2) and the last three all by at least 40 points. The victory matched Burleson’s season-high scoring total. Burleson now holds a 16-11-0 edge in the series.
Despite running just 19 offensive plays and being penalized for 95 yards in the first half, Burleson led 21-3 at halftime. Burleson’s defense then allowed 11 yards in the second half.
Burleson returns home Friday to meet Everman, who has stumbled to an 0-2 start in district play.
Johnson made a number of nifty moves to stay inbounds on a 62-yard highlight-reel touchdown pass from Hayden Whitten with 10:26 left in the second quarter to give Burleson a 14-0 edge.
Joshua’s best chance to rally came on the next two series. They were helped by four 15-yard penalties on a 68-yard drive that stalled at Burleson’s 7. Raul Miranda converted the 22-yard field goal attempt for Joshua’s only score. Then, Joshua recovered an onside kick and drove to the Burleson 19 before a 15-yard penalty of their own took Joshua out of field-goal range.
Johnson caught three passes for 48 yards on the ensuing drive, including his 8-yard touchdown pass from Whitten to expand the halftime lead. Whitten completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive for 76 yards.
It seemed as if Johnson and Whitten had teamed up for a touchdown on the Elks’ second drive of the game. Johnson hauled in Whitten’s pass and ran to the goal line, where he appeared to stretch across the plane for a score. Louie Hill got the call on the following play for the eventual game-winning score on a 1-yard completion from Whitten.
Four plays into the second half, Johnson caught his third touchdown pass from Whitten on a 27-yard completion with 10:54 left in the third quarter. Whitten’s pass to Johnson two drives later for a touchdown missed and Whitten converted a 24-yard field goal for a 31-3 lead with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
Whitten was lifted in the third quarter after having completed 12-of-19 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns. He had a streak of eight straight completions and began by completing 12 of his first 14 passes.
Tristen DeLeon took advantage of his best opportunity yet. He completed 6-of-9 passes for 50 yards in relief of Whitten, pushing Burleson to 308 yards passing, and he scored on fourth-quarter runs of 4 and 22 yards. DeLeon had 45 yards rushing.
Devin Henderson missed his first start of the year after a mild injury this week in practice. Nolan Claiborne started at halfback, compiling 46 yards on eight carries.
It was an all-around standout night for the defense, which limited Joshua to 0.6 yards per carry and 2.2 yards per play. Joshua had 68 of its 79 yards in the first half.
Burleson is now locked with Crowley and Seguin at 2-0 in District 9-5A, a game ahead of Centennial and Cleburne.